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digitalmars.D - Re: The Death of D. (Was Tango vs Phobos)

reply bobef <bobef nosmap-abv.bg> writes:
Robert Fraser Wrote:
 Yigal Chripun Wrote:
 
 Robert Fraser wrote:
  > I've had very mixed feelings about all this. One one hand, the letter
 of the
 law may be questionably constitutional. But millions of dollars every day are
 lost because people (including myself occasionally...) steal copyrighted
 material. Honestly, I think there should be much stricter penalties for
 things like internet piracy, because it's simply so widespread and damaging.

Of course you have the right to have your own opinion (that's also in the constitution) but all of the above is bullshit. (sorry for the language). stealing only applies to physical things like chairs and cars. that whole metaphor of information as physical entities is wrong. you sure can infringe someone's copyrights but you cannot steal anything since there's nothing to steal.

Some philosopher said that all philosophical debates were inherently linguistic ones that stemmed from not having the words to represent the concepts being spoken about. We're using different definitions of "steal," but the concept is clear -- it's taking something you don't have the right to have taken without paying for, and the debate is over whether you do or should have that right.

 I think what a lot of these arguments boil down to is people trying to
 justify taking stuff without paying for it. Plain and simple. I do on occasion
 download videos (these days only anime fansubs).  And I don't feel bad
 about it. But I do know it's stealing. Downloading a $10 CD is really
 no better than shoplifting a $10 CD, because the people who worked to
 bring that CD into existence are not being paid for it.

It is not the same as shoplifting as you are not depriving anyone from anything. So you are not stealing anything. It is moral (and that is relative) to pay for the author's work, but only if you like it. When you buy a CD with 14 shitty songs because you are exposed to advertising of one good one, why don't you pay 1/15 of the price? This is more stealing than "pirating" because you are actually mislead to buy something that you would normally not buy because it sucks. I have had similar discussions but how can you explain my mother who works for 150$ a month (and she needs to eat pay bills, etc with these) that she has to pay MS 500$ for their software that is what? Pixels? Bytes? What? Anyway. In my opinion it comes down to greed cause no one is stealing anything. Just some people are not willing to share although they are not losing anything. And to lose something you must own it. So you can't lose a million dollars of sales because you haven't sold anything in the first place. If authors were more conscious (less greedy) they would share because if the users were more conscious (less living in a society where everyone wants to *make you* pay for something) they would show gratitude by paying. Regards, bobef
Aug 14 2008
next sibling parent reply "Koroskin Denis" <2korden gmail.com> writes:
On Fri, 15 Aug 2008 10:14:32 +0400, bobef <bobef nosmap-abv.bg> wrote:

 Robert Fraser Wrote:
 Yigal Chripun Wrote:

 Robert Fraser wrote:
  > I've had very mixed feelings about all this. One one hand, the  

 of the
 law may be questionably constitutional. But millions of dollars  


 lost because people (including myself occasionally...) steal  


 material. Honestly, I think there should be much stricter penalties  


 things like internet piracy, because it's simply so widespread and  


 Of course you have the right to have your own opinion (that's also in
 the constitution) but all of the above is bullshit. (sorry for the
 language).

 stealing only applies to physical things like chairs and cars. that
 whole metaphor of information as physical entities is wrong.
 you sure can infringe someone's copyrights but you cannot steal  

 since there's nothing to steal.

Some philosopher said that all philosophical debates were inherently linguistic ones that stemmed from not having the words to represent the concepts being spoken about. We're using different definitions of "steal," but the concept is clear -- it's taking something you don't have the right to have taken without paying for, and the debate is over whether you do or should have that right.

comment :) I wan to support Yigal Chripun. So you say stealing is "taking something". But information (and software) is not something. It is not something you can take. I "pirate" something and I have my copy and you have yours. Nothing have been taken all are happy. This is actually a good thing. Too bad food doesn't work this way. The problem is greed. It has nothing to do with stealing.
 I think what a lot of these arguments boil down to is people trying to
 justify taking stuff without paying for it. Plain and simple. I do on  
 occasion
 download videos (these days only anime fansubs).  And I don't feel bad
 about it. But I do know it's stealing. Downloading a $10 CD is really
 no better than shoplifting a $10 CD, because the people who worked to
 bring that CD into existence are not being paid for it.

It is not the same as shoplifting as you are not depriving anyone from anything. So you are not stealing anything. It is moral (and that is relative) to pay for the author's work, but only if you like it. When you buy a CD with 14 shitty songs because you are exposed to advertising of one good one, why don't you pay 1/15 of the price? This is more stealing than "pirating" because you are actually mislead to buy something that you would normally not buy because it sucks. I have had similar discussions but how can you explain my mother who works for 150$ a month (and she needs to eat pay bills, etc with these) that she has to pay MS 500$ for their software that is what? Pixels? Bytes? What? Anyway. In my opinion it comes down to greed cause no one is stealing anything. Just some people are not willing to share although they are not losing anything. And to lose something you must own it. So you can't lose a million dollars of sales because you haven't sold anything in the first place. If authors were more conscious (less greedy) they would share because if the users were more conscious (less living in a society where everyone wants to *make you* pay for something) they would show gratitude by paying. Regards, bobef

Can't stand away of the topic. My company was making PSP game and it leaks to the pirate bay two weeks before official release. Isn't it a stealing? Did my company give someone a permission to redistribute its software? Yes, you can't buy the game officially for a time being, but so can't others. Is it an excuse for you? There is an agreement between us and a publisher, they have a schedule and can't put a game in a wrong timeline. It's a bussiness, some marketing needs to be done, hard copies be made and transfered all over the world etc. A game was something we were working on for more that half a year, lots of effort were put in it. Do we deserve a payment and respect? In fact, a game was downloaded about 500.000 times before it got to the shelves. And about a 100.000 copies were sold _in total_. We got no profit just because everything out there are so poor and can't afford a licensed copy. What the hell you were thinking about before buying a handheld? An answer is - you are just too greedy and don't respect others efforts. Shame on you. As a result we don't make PSP games anymore and you don't get any games from us. And from lots of other developers, too. You harm not only yourself, but many of the other fair people who _do_ pay for their entertainment. My old good PSOne has the following text upon loading many of the games - I remember it word-by-word: "Piracy harms consumers as well as legitimate developers, publishers and retailers." So true.
Aug 15 2008
parent reply downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
Koroskin Denis wrote:
 On Fri, 15 Aug 2008 10:14:32 +0400, bobef <bobef nosmap-abv.bg> wrote:
 
 Robert Fraser Wrote:
 Yigal Chripun Wrote:

 Robert Fraser wrote:
  > I've had very mixed feelings about all this. One one hand, the

 of the
 law may be questionably constitutional. But millions of dollars


 lost because people (including myself occasionally...) steal


 material. Honestly, I think there should be much stricter


 things like internet piracy, because it's simply so widespread


 Of course you have the right to have your own opinion (that's also in
 the constitution) but all of the above is bullshit. (sorry for the
 language).

 stealing only applies to physical things like chairs and cars. that
 whole metaphor of information as physical entities is wrong.
 you sure can infringe someone's copyrights but you cannot steal

 since there's nothing to steal.

Some philosopher said that all philosophical debates were inherently linguistic ones that stemmed from not having the words to represent the concepts being spoken about. We're using different definitions of "steal," but the concept is clear -- it's taking something you don't have the right to have taken without paying for, and the debate is over whether you do or should have that right.

also comment :) I wan to support Yigal Chripun. So you say stealing is "taking something". But information (and software) is not something. It is not something you can take. I "pirate" something and I have my copy and you have yours. Nothing have been taken all are happy. This is actually a good thing. Too bad food doesn't work this way. The problem is greed. It has nothing to do with stealing.
 I think what a lot of these arguments boil down to is people trying to
 justify taking stuff without paying for it. Plain and simple. I do on
 occasion
 download videos (these days only anime fansubs).  And I don't feel bad
 about it. But I do know it's stealing. Downloading a $10 CD is really
 no better than shoplifting a $10 CD, because the people who worked to
 bring that CD into existence are not being paid for it.

It is not the same as shoplifting as you are not depriving anyone from anything. So you are not stealing anything. It is moral (and that is relative) to pay for the author's work, but only if you like it. When you buy a CD with 14 shitty songs because you are exposed to advertising of one good one, why don't you pay 1/15 of the price? This is more stealing than "pirating" because you are actually mislead to buy something that you would normally not buy because it sucks. I have had similar discussions but how can you explain my mother who works for 150$ a month (and she needs to eat pay bills, etc with these) that she has to pay MS 500$ for their software that is what? Pixels? Bytes? What? Anyway. In my opinion it comes down to greed cause no one is stealing anything. Just some people are not willing to share although they are not losing anything. And to lose something you must own it. So you can't lose a million dollars of sales because you haven't sold anything in the first place. If authors were more conscious (less greedy) they would share because if the users were more conscious (less living in a society where everyone wants to *make you* pay for something) they would show gratitude by paying. Regards, bobef

Can't stand away of the topic. My company was making PSP game and it leaks to the pirate bay two weeks before official release. Isn't it a stealing?

Nope.
 Did my company give
 someone a permission to redistribute its software?

Nope, but I don't see how that changes the terminology.
 Yes, you can't buy
 the game officially for a time being, but so can't others. Is it an
 excuse for you? There is an agreement between us and a publisher, they
 have a schedule and can't put a game in a wrong timeline. It's a
 bussiness, some marketing needs to be done, hard copies be made and
 transfered all over the world etc.
 
 A game was something we were working on for more that half a year, lots
 of effort were put in it. Do we deserve a payment and respect?
 

Nope. That's the free market - you "deserve" nothing implicitly.
 In fact, a game was downloaded about 500.000 times before it got to the
 shelves. And about a 100.000 copies were sold _in total_. We got no
 profit just because everything out there are so poor and can't afford a
 licensed copy. What the hell you were thinking about before buying a
 handheld? An answer is - you are just too greedy and don't respect
 others efforts. Shame on you.

How did this become about us?
 
 As a result we don't make PSP games anymore and you don't get any games
 from us. And from lots of other developers, too. You harm not only
 yourself, but many of the other fair people who _do_ pay for their
 entertainment.

Again, when did this become personal?
 
 My old good PSOne has the following text upon loading many of the games
 - I remember it word-by-word:
 "Piracy harms consumers as well as legitimate developers, publishers and
 retailers." So true.

Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing". I wish you'd remember that more.
Aug 15 2008
parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
downs wrote:

 
 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".
 
 I wish you'd remember that more.

Yeah, because capturing vessels on the high seas has a lot more in common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.
Aug 16 2008
next sibling parent downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:
 
 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".

 I wish you'd remember that more.

Yeah, because capturing vessels on the high seas has a lot more in common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.

Verily, I have gotten 'burned'.
Aug 16 2008
prev sibling parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:
 
 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".

 I wish you'd remember that more.

Yeah, because capturing vessels on the high seas has a lot more in common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.

Why can't we fu*king call the dog by his name? when a person infringes someone else' copyrights he's not pirating (as you said it, pirating is "capturing vessels on the high seas") and he's not stealing. that person _*infringes*_ someone else' copyrights. Why is that so difficult for people to use the correct word? infringe. here I just used it myself. If anyone has deep issues with that we can also use "violate". no need to invent new words for an already well defined concept just to satisfy someone's (MPAA, RIAA, etc) PR goals.
Aug 16 2008
next sibling parent reply downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:

 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".

 I wish you'd remember that more.

common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.

Why can't we fu*king call the dog by his name? when a person infringes someone else' copyrights he's not pirating (as you said it, pirating is "capturing vessels on the high seas") and he's not stealing. that person _*infringes*_ someone else' copyrights. Why is that so difficult for people to use the correct word? infringe. here I just used it myself. If anyone has deep issues with that we can also use "violate". no need to invent new words for an already well defined concept just to satisfy someone's (MPAA, RIAA, etc) PR goals.

"Infringing a copyright": 7 syllables. "Pirating": 3 syllables. "Stealing": 2 syllables. Sad but true.
Aug 16 2008
next sibling parent Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
downs wrote:
 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:

 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".

 I wish you'd remember that more.

common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.

when a person infringes someone else' copyrights he's not pirating (as you said it, pirating is "capturing vessels on the high seas") and he's not stealing. that person _*infringes*_ someone else' copyrights. Why is that so difficult for people to use the correct word? infringe. here I just used it myself. If anyone has deep issues with that we can also use "violate". no need to invent new words for an already well defined concept just to satisfy someone's (MPAA, RIAA, etc) PR goals.

"Infringing a copyright": 7 syllables. "Pirating": 3 syllables. "Stealing": 2 syllables. Sad but true.

remember the old rule - each line of code is read 100 times more than it's written? IMHO this should also apply to NG posts.
Aug 16 2008
prev sibling parent reply superdan <super dan.org> writes:
downs Wrote:

 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:

 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".

 I wish you'd remember that more.

common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.

Why can't we fu*king call the dog by his name? when a person infringes someone else' copyrights he's not pirating (as you said it, pirating is "capturing vessels on the high seas") and he's not stealing. that person _*infringes*_ someone else' copyrights. Why is that so difficult for people to use the correct word? infringe. here I just used it myself. If anyone has deep issues with that we can also use "violate". no need to invent new words for an already well defined concept just to satisfy someone's (MPAA, RIAA, etc) PR goals.

"Infringing a copyright": 7 syllables. "Pirating": 3 syllables. "Stealing": 2 syllables. Sad but true.

"what the intercourse are you talking about": 9 syllables. depressing.
Aug 16 2008
parent reply downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
superdan wrote:
 downs Wrote:
 
 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:

 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".

 I wish you'd remember that more.

common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.

when a person infringes someone else' copyrights he's not pirating (as you said it, pirating is "capturing vessels on the high seas") and he's not stealing. that person _*infringes*_ someone else' copyrights. Why is that so difficult for people to use the correct word? infringe. here I just used it myself. If anyone has deep issues with that we can also use "violate". no need to invent new words for an already well defined concept just to satisfy someone's (MPAA, RIAA, etc) PR goals.

"Pirating": 3 syllables. "Stealing": 2 syllables. Sad but true.

"what the intercourse are you talking about": 9 syllables. depressing.

"Pirating" is shorter :) And just to be the grammar nazi for a sec, it's 11.
Aug 16 2008
parent reply superdan <super dan.org> writes:
downs Wrote:

 superdan wrote:
 downs Wrote:
 
 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:

 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".

 I wish you'd remember that more.

common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.

when a person infringes someone else' copyrights he's not pirating (as you said it, pirating is "capturing vessels on the high seas") and he's not stealing. that person _*infringes*_ someone else' copyrights. Why is that so difficult for people to use the correct word? infringe. here I just used it myself. If anyone has deep issues with that we can also use "violate". no need to invent new words for an already well defined concept just to satisfy someone's (MPAA, RIAA, etc) PR goals.

"Pirating": 3 syllables. "Stealing": 2 syllables. Sad but true.

"what the intercourse are you talking about": 9 syllables. depressing.

"Pirating" is shorter :)

ok eh.
 And just to be the grammar nazi for a sec, it's 11.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ................... sorry my level of humor rose so fast above yours i got vertigo there for a bit. hint: it's 9 syllables if you read it the right way.
Aug 16 2008
parent downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
superdan wrote:
 downs Wrote:
 
 superdan wrote:
 downs Wrote:

 Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:

 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".

 I wish you'd remember that more.

common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.

when a person infringes someone else' copyrights he's not pirating (as you said it, pirating is "capturing vessels on the high seas") and he's not stealing. that person _*infringes*_ someone else' copyrights. Why is that so difficult for people to use the correct word? infringe. here I just used it myself. If anyone has deep issues with that we can also use "violate". no need to invent new words for an already well defined concept just to satisfy someone's (MPAA, RIAA, etc) PR goals.

"Pirating": 3 syllables. "Stealing": 2 syllables. Sad but true.

depressing.


ok eh.
 And just to be the grammar nazi for a sec, it's 11.

ooooooooooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ................... sorry my level of humor rose so fast above yours i got vertigo there for a bit.

Hehe.
 hint: it's 9 syllables if you read it the right way.

This isn't really my day.
Aug 16 2008
prev sibling parent superdan <super dan.org> writes:
Yigal Chripun Wrote:

 Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:
 
 Note that they used the word "Piracy". Not "Stealing".

 I wish you'd remember that more.

Yeah, because capturing vessels on the high seas has a lot more in common with illegally obtaining copyable goods than "stealing" does.

Why can't we fu*king call the dog by his name?

ain't it funny. ever since i stopped fuckshitting everyone and their dog started. funniest is jarrett. first he emails like an unsexed victorian damsel in distress "learn to type like a normal person or i'll have a syncope right here. oh! oh! my minerals quick!" next day he's cursing like a sailor in baltimore. not that there are any. guys the dirty talk is pathetic. you don't have the frame for it. if i can do it in style don't let that fool ya. ok?
Aug 16 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
bobef wrote:
 Robert Fraser Wrote:
 Yigal Chripun Wrote:

 Robert Fraser wrote:
  > I've had very mixed feelings about all this. One one hand, the letter
 of the
 law may be questionably constitutional. But millions of dollars every day are
 lost because people (including myself occasionally...) steal copyrighted
 material. Honestly, I think there should be much stricter penalties for
 things like internet piracy, because it's simply so widespread and damaging.

the constitution) but all of the above is bullshit. (sorry for the language). stealing only applies to physical things like chairs and cars. that whole metaphor of information as physical entities is wrong. you sure can infringe someone's copyrights but you cannot steal anything since there's nothing to steal.

linguistic ones that stemmed from not having the words to represent the concepts being spoken about. We're using different definitions of "steal," but the concept is clear -- it's taking something you don't have the right to have taken without paying for, and the debate is over whether you do or should have that right.


Yeah, all are happy. I'm sure the developer is ecstatic that you have no respect for him or the effort he put into developing his software. He'll be extremely glad to know that one more person thinks he doesn't deserve the same right to make a living that producers of physical goods enjoy. He'll be jumping for joy when enough people out there like you dash his dreams of working as a full-time developer and he has to go out and find another job to put food on the table. Oh, happy days! Software *is* something. Just because it is infinitely copyable doesn't give you the right to copy it. No one has the right to take something someone else has created without the creator's permission. I'm sure we can agree that if you want a chair I've crafted and I want to charge you for it, then I am well within my right to do so. How is it that when my creation is infinitely copyable, I suddenly lose that right? I've heard this argument many, many, many times, but it still makes no sense to me. True, when you copy my infinitely copyable creation I'm not losing a physical object, but I *am* losing something -- compensation for the time and effort I put into it. It takes a heck of a lot longer to develop, test and debug a software application than it does to craft a chair. So why do you think developers shouldn't be afforded the same right as a craftsman? What gives you the right, in my stead, to decide if my product should be freely available? And don't come at me with that 'information should be free' crap. Software is not information. It's a product.
Aug 15 2008
next sibling parent reply downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 bobef wrote:
 Robert Fraser Wrote:
 Yigal Chripun Wrote:

 Robert Fraser wrote:
  > I've had very mixed feelings about all this. One one hand, the
 letter
 of the
 law may be questionably constitutional. But millions of dollars
 every day are
 lost because people (including myself occasionally...) steal
 copyrighted
 material. Honestly, I think there should be much stricter penalties
 for
 things like internet piracy, because it's simply so widespread and
 damaging.

the constitution) but all of the above is bullshit. (sorry for the language). stealing only applies to physical things like chairs and cars. that whole metaphor of information as physical entities is wrong. you sure can infringe someone's copyrights but you cannot steal anything since there's nothing to steal.

linguistic ones that stemmed from not having the words to represent the concepts being spoken about. We're using different definitions of "steal," but the concept is clear -- it's taking something you don't have the right to have taken without paying for, and the debate is over whether you do or should have that right.

also comment :) I wan to support Yigal Chripun. So you say stealing is "taking something". But information (and software) is not something. It is not something you can take. I "pirate" something and I have my copy and you have yours. Nothing have been taken all are happy. This is actually a good thing. Too bad food doesn't work this way. The problem is greed. It has nothing to do with stealing.

Yeah, all are happy. I'm sure the developer is ecstatic that you have no respect for him or the effort he put into developing his software. He'll be extremely glad to know that one more person thinks he doesn't deserve the same right to make a living that producers of physical goods enjoy.

Bullshit. There is no such thing as "right to make a living".
 He'll be jumping for joy when enough people out there like you dash his
 dreams of working as a full-time developer and he has to go out and find
 another job to put food on the table. Oh, happy days!

There are two kind of arguments: logical arguments and emotional arguments. Guess which yours is.
 
 Software *is* something. Just because it is infinitely copyable doesn't
 give you the right to copy it. No one has the right to take something
 someone else has created without the creator's permission.

This is a common illusion. (I blame Disney). The right to exclusivity is granted to the creator, by the state, for a certain period of time. It does not exist "by default".
 I'm sure we
 can agree that if you want a chair I've crafted and I want to charge you
 for it, then I am well within my right to do so.

Could we PLEASE keep the comparisons to physical goods out of it? NOT. THE SAME. THING.
 How is it that when my
 creation is infinitely copyable, I suddenly lose that right?

Because you don't lose the original anymore. This has been said hundreds of times.
 I've heard
 this argument many, many, many times, but it still makes no sense to me.
 True, when you copy my infinitely copyable creation I'm not losing a
 physical object, but I *am* losing something -- compensation for the
 time and effort I put into it.

Which, by the way, is not a right. Are people normally bound to buy your physical goods?
 It takes a heck of a lot longer to
 develop, test and debug a software application than it does to craft a
 chair.

Maybe for cheap chairs.
 So why do you think developers shouldn't be afforded the same
 right as a craftsman? What gives you the right, in my stead, to decide
 if my product should be freely available?
 

 And don't come at me with that 'information should be free' crap.
 Software is not information. It's a product.

Software is purely information. "Software is a product" is a relatively novel idea that, I believe, was invented by our friends at MS (though I cannot point at a source for that claim).
Aug 15 2008
next sibling parent reply "Jarrett Billingsley" <kb3ctd2 yahoo.com> writes:
"downs" <default_357-line yahoo.de> wrote in message 
news:g84gml$1rb1$1 digitalmars.com...

 Software is purely information. "Software is a product" is a relatively 
 novel idea that, I believe, was invented by our friends at MS (though I 
 cannot point at a source for that claim).

Oh don't give me that bullshit. If anything, another company came up with the idea and MS bought them out ;)
Aug 15 2008
parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 "downs" <default_357-line yahoo.de> wrote in message 
 news:g84gml$1rb1$1 digitalmars.com...
 
 Software is purely information. "Software is a product" is a relatively 
 novel idea that, I believe, was invented by our friends at MS (though I 
 cannot point at a source for that claim).

Oh don't give me that bullshit. If anything, another company came up with the idea and MS bought them out ;)

Oh, come on! "software is a product" makes sense -- as in "you buy it and you can do what you want with it (your copy of it, that is)". I believe what MS gave us was "software is licensed, and you can only do with it what we say you can no matter how much you paid for it". Which is more absurd then saying software developers have no right to sell their software!
Aug 16 2008
parent "Jarrett Billingsley" <kb3ctd2 yahoo.com> writes:
"Mike Parker" <aldacron gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:g86q1l$2qrv$2 digitalmars.com...
 Jarrett Billingsley wrote:
 "downs" <default_357-line yahoo.de> wrote in message 
 news:g84gml$1rb1$1 digitalmars.com...

 Software is purely information. "Software is a product" is a relatively 
 novel idea that, I believe, was invented by our friends at MS (though I 
 cannot point at a source for that claim).

Oh don't give me that bullshit. If anything, another company came up with the idea and MS bought them out ;)

Oh, come on! "software is a product" makes sense -- as in "you buy it and you can do what you want with it (your copy of it, that is)". I believe what MS gave us was "software is licensed, and you can only do with it what we say you can no matter how much you paid for it". Which is more absurd then saying software developers have no right to sell their software!

Oh I agree that MS didn't "come up" with the idea that software is a product. I don't think it ever was a novel concept. I was just making a snarky remark about MS's typical business practices. Now whether MS came up with the idea of restrictive software licenses -- now that really _does_ smell of bullshit and anti-MS-fanboyism. MS is not the only eeeevil monopolistic company out there :P
Aug 16 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"downs" <default_357-line yahoo.de> wrote in message 
news:g84gml$1rb1$1 digitalmars.com...
 It takes a heck of a lot longer to
 develop, test and debug a software application than it does to craft a
 chair.

Maybe for cheap chairs.

You must have so ******* fancy chairs in your house, sorry.. erm.. palace. ;-)
Aug 15 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply =?iso-8859-1?Q?Julio=20C=e9sar=20Carrascal=20Urquijo?= <jcarrascal gmail.com> writes:
Hello downs,

 Software is purely information. "Software is a product" is a
 relatively novel idea that, I believe, was invented by our friends at
 MS (though I cannot point at a source for that claim).

Maybe this one: http://www.blinkenlights.com/classiccmp/gateswhine.html
Aug 15 2008
parent downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
Julio CÚsar Carrascal Urquijo wrote:
 Hello downs,
 
 Software is purely information. "Software is a product" is a
 relatively novel idea that, I believe, was invented by our friends at
 MS (though I cannot point at a source for that claim).

Maybe this one: http://www.blinkenlights.com/classiccmp/gateswhine.html

Ah. Looks like they started the "stealing" thing too. TYVM, MS.
Aug 16 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
downs wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 I'm sure we
 can agree that if you want a chair I've crafted and I want to charge you
 for it, then I am well within my right to do so.

Could we PLEASE keep the comparisons to physical goods out of it? NOT. THE SAME. THING.
 How is it that when my
 creation is infinitely copyable, I suddenly lose that right?

Because you don't lose the original anymore. This has been said hundreds of times.

To clarify this point: you still have a *temporary* right to control the duplication of your infinitely copyable creation. But it is *not the same right* as the one that allows you to charge for the chair.
Aug 16 2008
parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
downs wrote:
 downs wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 I'm sure we
 can agree that if you want a chair I've crafted and I want to charge you
 for it, then I am well within my right to do so.



IT. IS. THE SAME. THING.
 How is it that when my
 creation is infinitely copyable, I suddenly lose that right?


To clarify this point: you still have a *temporary* right to control the duplication of your infinitely copyable creation. But it is *not the same right* as the one that allows you to charge for the chair.

But it *is* the same right. I really didn't expect anyone to give me anything new on this. It's always the same arguments back and forth. This is one of those issues that people rarely change their minds about.
Aug 16 2008
parent reply downs <default_357-line yahoo.de> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:
 downs wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 I'm sure we
 can agree that if you want a chair I've crafted and I want to charge
 you
 for it, then I am well within my right to do so.

NOT. THE SAME. THING.


IT. IS. THE SAME. THING.
 How is it that when my
 creation is infinitely copyable, I suddenly lose that right?

hundreds of times.

To clarify this point: you still have a *temporary* right to control the duplication of your infinitely copyable creation. But it is *not the same right* as the one that allows you to charge for the chair.

But it *is* the same right. I really didn't expect anyone to give me anything new on this. It's always the same arguments back and forth. This is one of those issues that people rarely change their minds about.

So .. you are saying property right is the same thing as copyright?
Aug 16 2008
parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
downs wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 downs wrote:
 downs wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 I'm sure we
 can agree that if you want a chair I've crafted and I want to charge
 you
 for it, then I am well within my right to do so.

NOT. THE SAME. THING.


 How is it that when my
 creation is infinitely copyable, I suddenly lose that right?

hundreds of times.

the duplication of your infinitely copyable creation. But it is *not the same right* as the one that allows you to charge for the chair.

I really didn't expect anyone to give me anything new on this. It's always the same arguments back and forth. This is one of those issues that people rarely change their minds about.

So .. you are saying property right is the same thing as copyright?

No, I'm not. My assertion is that the creator of a thing has a right to determine if and how that thing will be distributed to others. The rest of the world doesn't suddenly get to decide that they can distribute the thing freely just because they can. If I create a PC game, I dictate if it's freeware or commercial -- not the users. Copyright and property rights are different, but I do believe they can, and should, work in tandem. I don't agree with the current state of copyright law, but let me tell you how I think things /should/ be. I think the idea of "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot is absurd. What we need is a law that explicitly defines a purchase of an infinitely copyable product as the purchase of "one unit" of that product. That particular unit is now your property. You can copy it to your heart's content, to CD or DVD, to multiple devices, or anywhere you want to use it. That's the right of property that protects the consumer's investment. Copyright law comes into play be preventing you from distributing copies of your unit without the copyright owner's permission. No matter how many copies you make for your own personal use, only the owner of the copyright (most often the creator) gets to dictate the terms of distribution. You cannot sell your copies, nor can you give them away to your friends. For the duration of the copyright, the owner of the copyright has every right to profit from his creation without fear of competing with his own product. This right protects the investment of the creator. Of course, people like to argue that they can do what they like with their property. If they want to sell it, they should be able to. I agree. If you want to give up your right to the unit you purchased and sell it to someone else, please do. But then you should be required to delete every copy you possess. From that point on, you no longer have any right to the unit. This is the same as selling your TV to someone else. Once the copyright expires, then people can do what they want with it. This holds to the original spirit and intent of copyright law -- allowing the creator to profit from his work while guaranteeing that it will eventually be freely available for all. The gives incentive for people to work at creating things full time. Again, that's how I think things /should/ be. I do understand that reality is quite a bit different. Copyright law has been hijacked by corporate lobbyists to the extent that it no longer serves the purpose it was meant to. The concepts of IP and licensing have gotten so out of control (DRM) that they turn people away from what is fair and appropriate, instead contributing to a culture of "I can take what I want and you greedy corporate asses can stuff it". So we have an environment where producers and consumers are focused on "protecting" their own rights, but few are working to protect both. In the end, it's more than the greedy corporate asses who get hurt by it all. At the end of the day, everyone has to make a living. Contrary to some assertions, I don't see that as an emotional argument. There's nothing illogical about the need to put food on the table. No one disputes the right of a carpenter to be paid for his work, nor for a doctor to be paid for his (though some would dispute the amount). Why, then, is it so difficult to accept that a software developer should be compensated for his work as well? Or a musician? Some people argue that business models should change. They already are (apologies in advance for this being game-centric). Today, some PC game developers are no longer developing games for the PC. They view the consoles as safer territory. They are for now. You see a decline in the production of single player games. You see more and more games requiring online activation, or requiring you to be online to play. These are all models geared toward minimizing the damage a company suffers from piracy. As such, they limit the options of the end user. My problem with piracy is not just a moral one, it's also a practical one. No one can say for sure where this will all lead. We could very well find ourselves in the Utopian paradise so many pirates spout off about to justify their actions, a world where people can get music, movies, books, and software freely while the creators can live off of the donations they receive from hordes of satisfied users (you'll excuse me if I hold some doubt that we'll see that result). But we could also find ourselves in a world where the independent creators, the garage bands and bedroom software developers, have gone the way of the dodo because they can't make enough to earn a living full time. A world where consumer rights are restricted and we have fewer options available to us in how we access and use creative works.
Aug 16 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 
 No, I'm not. My assertion is that the creator of a thing has a right to
 determine if and how that thing will be distributed to others. The rest
 of the world doesn't suddenly get to decide that they can distribute the
 thing freely just because they can. If I create a PC game, I dictate if
 it's freeware or commercial -- not the users.

your train of thought here is going backwards. No one "suddenly" decided to take away the right to control distribution from the creator. That right never existed in the first place.
 
 Copyright and property rights are different, but I do believe they can,
 and should, work in tandem. I don't agree with the current state of
 copyright law, but let me tell you how I think things /should/ be.
 
 I think the idea of "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot is
 absurd. What we need is a law that explicitly defines a purchase of an
 infinitely copyable product as the purchase of "one unit" of that
 product. That particular unit is now your property. You can copy it to
 your heart's content, to CD or DVD, to multiple devices, or anywhere you
 want to use it. That's the right of property that protects the
 consumer's investment.

I agree with you that "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot is absurd. your idea of defining a "unit" is not implementable.
 
 Copyright law comes into play be preventing you from distributing copies
 of your unit without the copyright owner's permission. No matter how
 many copies you make for your own personal use, only the owner of the
 copyright (most often the creator) gets to dictate the terms of
 distribution. You cannot sell your copies, nor can you give them away to
 your friends. For the duration of the copyright, the owner of the
 copyright has every right to profit from his creation without fear of
 competing with his own product. This right protects the investment of
 the creator.
 
 Of course, people like to argue that they can do what they like with
 their property. If they want to sell it, they should be able to. I
 agree. If you want to give up your right to the unit you purchased and
 sell it to someone else, please do. But then you should be required to
 delete every copy you possess. From that point on, you no longer have
 any right to the unit. This is the same as selling your TV to someone else.
 
 Once the copyright expires, then people can do what they want with it.
 This holds to the original spirit and intent of copyright law --
 allowing the creator to profit from his work while guaranteeing that it
 will eventually be freely available for all. The gives incentive for
 people to work at creating things full time.
 
 Again, that's how I think things /should/ be. I do understand that
 reality is quite a bit different. Copyright law has been hijacked by
 corporate lobbyists to the extent that it no longer serves the purpose
 it was meant to. The concepts of IP and licensing have gotten so out of
 control (DRM) that they turn people away from what is fair and
 appropriate, instead contributing to a culture of "I can take what I
 want and you greedy corporate asses can stuff it". So we have an
 environment where producers and consumers are focused on "protecting"
 their own rights, but few are working to protect both. In the end, it's
 more than the greedy corporate asses who get hurt by it all.
 
 At the end of the day, everyone has to make a living. Contrary to some
 assertions, I don't see that as an emotional argument. There's nothing
 illogical about the need to put food on the table. No one disputes the
 right of a carpenter to be paid for his work, nor for a doctor to be
 paid for his (though some would dispute the amount). Why, then, is it so
 difficult to accept that a software developer should be compensated for
 his work as well? Or a musician?

no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to earn a living.
 
 Some people argue that business models should change. They already are
 (apologies in advance for this being game-centric). Today, some PC game
 developers are no longer developing games for the PC. They view the
 consoles as safer territory. They are for now. You see a decline in the
 production of single player games. You see more and more games requiring
 online activation, or requiring you to be online to play. These are all
 models geared toward minimizing the damage a company suffers from
 piracy. As such, they limit the options of the end user.
 
 My problem with piracy is not just a moral one, it's also a practical
 one. No one can say for sure where this will all lead. We could very
 well find ourselves in the Utopian paradise so many pirates spout off
 about to justify their actions, a world where people can get music,
 movies, books, and software freely while the creators can live off of
 the donations they receive from hordes of satisfied users (you'll excuse
 me if I hold some doubt that we'll see that result). But we could also
 find ourselves in a world where the independent creators, the garage
 bands and bedroom software developers, have gone the way of the dodo
 because they can't make enough to earn a living full time. A world where
 consumer rights are restricted and we have fewer options available to us
  in how we access and use creative works.

let us take the role of an aspiring new musician and compare: before the age of the internet: we need to convince some record company representative to listen to our demo and convince him that it's worthwhile to give us a contract (in which we give almost all our rights to the company). the company decides what music to push to the public based on little to none musical interests (for example if we play classical music, we would create less sales than Brittney spears and so her music would be preferred - it's much easier to create hype and therefore sales amongst teenagers who listen to pop rather than to convince adults to buy classical music CDs) Now let's consider the current "Internet" way: we can record music with home equipment and put it on our own site. we can shoot a home video and put it on youtube, etc.. all with little costs. we'll tell all our friends about our new site with our new cool music, those wo like it will tell their friends, etc.. soon (if our music is liked by people) we could go and perform in pubs and the like and people some people will come. after growing our fan base we can also sell merchandise on our site, and get more people to go to our concerts and pay for tickets.. what I'm trying to say here is that allowing free distribution of music online makes it easier for a young new artist (or software developer) to achieve his goals (becoming a known artist). I claim that we'll find our selves in a world where the independent creators, the garage bands and bedroom software developers, have _NOT_ gone the way of the dodo but rather flourish. Another example - current state of the legal system makes it harder for two teams of OSS to work together since they are afraid of legal consequences. (phobos and tango) in a more free legal system we wouldn't find ourselves waiting for more than a year since one author is afraid of taint and possibly getting sued in the future duo to it. the absurd is that both projects provide freely redistributable code and yet there are still fears of taint. If you ever watched "sliders" than you'd probably seen the episode where they slid to a world with 85% of the population having law degrees. in that world you had to provide a full health record and a signed and legally approved note that you wouldn't sue just to buy a hamburger.
Aug 17 2008
next sibling parent reply Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 No, I'm not. My assertion is that the creator of a thing has a right to
 determine if and how that thing will be distributed to others. The rest
 of the world doesn't suddenly get to decide that they can distribute the
 thing freely just because they can. If I create a PC game, I dictate if
 it's freeware or commercial -- not the users.

your train of thought here is going backwards. No one "suddenly" decided to take away the right to control distribution from the creator. That right never existed in the first place.
 Copyright and property rights are different, but I do believe they can,
 and should, work in tandem. I don't agree with the current state of
 copyright law, but let me tell you how I think things /should/ be.

 I think the idea of "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot is
 absurd. What we need is a law that explicitly defines a purchase of an
 infinitely copyable product as the purchase of "one unit" of that
 product. That particular unit is now your property. You can copy it to
 your heart's content, to CD or DVD, to multiple devices, or anywhere you
 want to use it. That's the right of property that protects the
 consumer's investment.

I agree with you that "licensing" music, movies, software, and whatnot is absurd. your idea of defining a "unit" is not implementable.

Why not?
 
 Copyright law comes into play be preventing you from distributing copies
 of your unit without the copyright owner's permission. No matter how
 many copies you make for your own personal use, only the owner of the
 copyright (most often the creator) gets to dictate the terms of
 distribution. You cannot sell your copies, nor can you give them away to
 your friends. For the duration of the copyright, the owner of the
 copyright has every right to profit from his creation without fear of
 competing with his own product. This right protects the investment of
 the creator.

 Of course, people like to argue that they can do what they like with
 their property. If they want to sell it, they should be able to. I
 agree. If you want to give up your right to the unit you purchased and
 sell it to someone else, please do. But then you should be required to
 delete every copy you possess. From that point on, you no longer have
 any right to the unit. This is the same as selling your TV to someone else.

 Once the copyright expires, then people can do what they want with it.
 This holds to the original spirit and intent of copyright law --
 allowing the creator to profit from his work while guaranteeing that it
 will eventually be freely available for all. The gives incentive for
 people to work at creating things full time.

 Again, that's how I think things /should/ be. I do understand that
 reality is quite a bit different. Copyright law has been hijacked by
 corporate lobbyists to the extent that it no longer serves the purpose
 it was meant to. The concepts of IP and licensing have gotten so out of
 control (DRM) that they turn people away from what is fair and
 appropriate, instead contributing to a culture of "I can take what I
 want and you greedy corporate asses can stuff it". So we have an
 environment where producers and consumers are focused on "protecting"
 their own rights, but few are working to protect both. In the end, it's
 more than the greedy corporate asses who get hurt by it all.

 At the end of the day, everyone has to make a living. Contrary to some
 assertions, I don't see that as an emotional argument. There's nothing
 illogical about the need to put food on the table. No one disputes the
 right of a carpenter to be paid for his work, nor for a doctor to be
 paid for his (though some would dispute the amount). Why, then, is it so
 difficult to accept that a software developer should be compensated for
 his work as well? Or a musician?

no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to earn a living.

But you want to take the choice of how they do so out of their hands.
 Some people argue that business models should change. They already are
 (apologies in advance for this being game-centric). Today, some PC game
 developers are no longer developing games for the PC. They view the
 consoles as safer territory. They are for now. You see a decline in the
 production of single player games. You see more and more games requiring
 online activation, or requiring you to be online to play. These are all
 models geared toward minimizing the damage a company suffers from
 piracy. As such, they limit the options of the end user.

 My problem with piracy is not just a moral one, it's also a practical
 one. No one can say for sure where this will all lead. We could very
 well find ourselves in the Utopian paradise so many pirates spout off
 about to justify their actions, a world where people can get music,
 movies, books, and software freely while the creators can live off of
 the donations they receive from hordes of satisfied users (you'll excuse
 me if I hold some doubt that we'll see that result). But we could also
 find ourselves in a world where the independent creators, the garage
 bands and bedroom software developers, have gone the way of the dodo
 because they can't make enough to earn a living full time. A world where
 consumer rights are restricted and we have fewer options available to us
  in how we access and use creative works.

let us take the role of an aspiring new musician and compare: before the age of the internet: we need to convince some record company representative to listen to our demo and convince him that it's worthwhile to give us a contract (in which we give almost all our rights to the company). the company decides what music to push to the public based on little to none musical interests (for example if we play classical music, we would create less sales than Brittney spears and so her music would be preferred - it's much easier to create hype and therefore sales amongst teenagers who listen to pop rather than to convince adults to buy classical music CDs) Now let's consider the current "Internet" way: we can record music with home equipment and put it on our own site. we can shoot a home video and put it on youtube, etc.. all with little costs. we'll tell all our friends about our new site with our new cool music, those wo like it will tell their friends, etc.. soon (if our music is liked by people) we could go and perform in pubs and the like and people some people will come. after growing our fan base we can also sell merchandise on our site, and get more people to go to our concerts and pay for tickets..

 
 what I'm trying to say here is that allowing free distribution of music
 online makes it easier for a young new artist (or software developer) to
  achieve his goals (becoming a known artist). I claim that we'll find
 our selves in a world where the independent creators, the garage bands
 and bedroom software developers, have _NOT_ gone the way of the dodo but
 rather flourish.

I don't dispute any of that (well, except the last bit about the future of indies). The opportunities opened up by the internet are tremendous, and I've taken advantage of them myself to some extent. But you've missed the point entirely. I'm not saying we should disallow free distribution. That's rather silly. My argument is that *it's the creator's choice to sell his product or distribute it freely.* Just because you like free stuff doesn't mean I have to give my stuff away for free. Conversely, just because I like to sell my stuff doesn't mean you have to buy it. If we leave things at that, we're all happy campers. I'll sell my stuff to people who want to buy it and you can get your stuff from people who want to give it away for free. But when you start taking my stuff without paying for it, knowing that I'm selling it and don't want it given away freely, now you're stepping on my toes and infringing my rights. I can see you are passionate about this, but it reminds me very much of the debate over the GPL. This isn't a direct analogy, but the circumstances are similar. GPL supporters love to go on about how software should be free (as in 'libre'). Ultimately, they wind up reducing freedom by dictating that the source of any derived work be released under the same terms. True freedom would give developers more choice, like the BSD or MIT licenses do. In your arguments, you keep going on about how grand it would be for us to have free (as in 'gratis', which is a different beast than 'libre' for sure) access to all of this stuff, but you would implicitly restrict the freedom (as in 'libre') of the people who produce it by dictating how they should distribute it. Speaking of the GPL, how do you feel about taking GPLed code and using it in closed-source, proprietary software that is then distributed to your customers freely or commercially (that is, ignoring the terms of the GPL altogether)? Is that just as acceptable to you as pirating the end product?
Aug 17 2008
parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Mike Parker wrote:
 no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to
 earn a living.

But you want to take the choice of how they do so out of their hands.

Again, I do not take that choice. You claim that a software developer has the right to decide to treat his software as a product and sell "units" of it. I claim that such an option does not exist in the first place. software is information, either you share it or you keep it to yourself. beyond that there are copy-right laws that _give_ the author a limited time-span of exclusivity. the software developer doesn't have a right to exclusivity, he receives it from society for a limited time. that time span should represent a balance between the fact the published work is public domain and the need to make it worthwhile for an individual to publish his work. current us law is 70 years after the death of that individual is out of balance entirely. a more reasonable amount (for software) should be 10-15 years at most. maybe even less.
 what I'm trying to say here is that allowing free distribution of music
 online makes it easier for a young new artist (or software developer) to
  achieve his goals (becoming a known artist). I claim that we'll find
 our selves in a world where the independent creators, the garage bands
 and bedroom software developers, have _NOT_ gone the way of the dodo but
 rather flourish.

I don't dispute any of that (well, except the last bit about the future of indies). The opportunities opened up by the internet are tremendous, and I've taken advantage of them myself to some extent. But you've missed the point entirely. I'm not saying we should disallow free distribution. That's rather silly. My argument is that *it's the creator's choice to sell his product or distribute it freely.*

Again, this choice never existed but rather manufactured artificially by a few groups of interest.
 
 Just because you like free stuff doesn't mean I have to give my stuff
 away for free. Conversely, just because I like to sell my stuff doesn't
 mean you have to buy it. If we leave things at that, we're all happy
 campers. I'll sell my stuff to people who want to buy it and you can get
 your stuff from people who want to give it away for free. But when you
 start taking my stuff without paying for it, knowing that I'm selling it
 and don't want it given away freely, now you're stepping on my toes and
 infringing my rights.

You do not have to publish your work. you can keep it for yourself. either you give to society or you don't. that's your choice.
 
 I can see you are passionate about this, but it reminds me very much of
 the debate over the GPL. This isn't a direct analogy, but the
 circumstances are similar. GPL supporters love to go on about how
 software should be free (as in 'libre'). Ultimately, they wind up
 reducing freedom by dictating that the source of any derived work be
 released under the same terms. True freedom would give developers more
 choice, like the BSD or MIT licenses do. In your arguments, you keep
 going on about how grand it would be for us to have free (as in
 'gratis', which is a different beast than 'libre' for sure) access to
 all of this stuff, but you would implicitly restrict the freedom (as in
 'libre') of the people who produce it by dictating how they should
 distribute it.

I do not object to OSS that is sold for money (again with the Red hat example). there is no conflict here with this at all. another way to look at it is this: an MP3 file is just information and should be available online, at the same time there is nothing that prevents the musician to charge money for his performance. a singer "produces" music by singing (for example). he does not "produce" MP3 files. Why don't you pay for each song you here on the radio for example? when you go to a restaurant do you pay for the taste, the smell or the food itself?
 
 Speaking of the GPL, how do you feel about taking GPLed code and using
 it in closed-source, proprietary software that is then distributed to
 your customers freely or commercially (that is, ignoring the terms of
 the GPL altogether)? Is that just as acceptable to you as pirating the
 end product?

I feel that the GPL is a necessary evil. It's a hack on top of a broken system. Ideally, there should be no need for it at all. Currently the GPL is the exception to the rule. the default is Closed-source. I'd want it to be the default while closed source would be the exception. to answer your question: yes it's wrong to subvert the GPL. The parallel you're trying to draw here however is not acceptable to me. these are two separate issues.
Aug 17 2008
next sibling parent Lars Ivar Igesund <larsivar igesund.net> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:

 You do not have to publish your work. you can keep it for yourself.
 either you give to society or you don't. that's your choice.

See my other post, you are making an artificial distinction yourself between private and public information. If you think some information truly can/should be private, then you also need to accept that the author can keep it private given some condition (ie that you can get access by paying). -- Lars Ivar Igesund blog at http://larsivi.net DSource, #d.tango & #D: larsivi Dancing the Tango
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Mike Parker wrote:
 no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to
 earn a living.


Again, I do not take that choice. You claim that a software developer has the right to decide to treat his software as a product and sell "units" of it. I claim that such an option does not exist in the first place. software is information, either you share it or you keep it to yourself.

Someone else already pointed out to you in this thread your confusion over the difference between 'freely available' and 'free of charge'. When an entity, like a government, tells you what kind of information you can and cannot have access to, that information is no longer freely available. If I'm the only person in the world who knows something, I might just want to make a tidy profit off of telling it to someone else. Nothing whatsoever gives you the right (or, at least at present, the ability) to pick it from my brain -- it's available for a price. I might even choose to tell it freely, being the good citizen I am. But it's /my/ choice. Commercial software (which I still say isn't information) *is* freely available. If it weren't, you wouldn't be able to buy it because no one would be allowed to sell it.
 
 Just because you like free stuff doesn't mean I have to give my stuff
 away for free. Conversely, just because I like to sell my stuff doesn't
 mean you have to buy it. If we leave things at that, we're all happy
 campers. I'll sell my stuff to people who want to buy it and you can get
 your stuff from people who want to give it away for free. But when you
 start taking my stuff without paying for it, knowing that I'm selling it
 and don't want it given away freely, now you're stepping on my toes and
 infringing my rights.

You do not have to publish your work. you can keep it for yourself. either you give to society or you don't. that's your choice.
 I can see you are passionate about this, but it reminds me very much of
 the debate over the GPL. This isn't a direct analogy, but the
 circumstances are similar. GPL supporters love to go on about how
 software should be free (as in 'libre'). Ultimately, they wind up
 reducing freedom by dictating that the source of any derived work be
 released under the same terms. True freedom would give developers more
 choice, like the BSD or MIT licenses do. In your arguments, you keep
 going on about how grand it would be for us to have free (as in
 'gratis', which is a different beast than 'libre' for sure) access to
 all of this stuff, but you would implicitly restrict the freedom (as in
 'libre') of the people who produce it by dictating how they should
 distribute it.

I do not object to OSS that is sold for money (again with the Red hat example). there is no conflict here with this at all. another way to look at it is this: an MP3 file is just information and should be available online, at the same time there is nothing that prevents the musician to charge money for his performance. a singer "produces" music by singing (for example). he does not "produce" MP3 files. Why don't you pay for each song you here on the radio for example? when you go to a restaurant do you pay for the taste, the smell or the food itself?
 Speaking of the GPL, how do you feel about taking GPLed code and using
 it in closed-source, proprietary software that is then distributed to
 your customers freely or commercially (that is, ignoring the terms of
 the GPL altogether)? Is that just as acceptable to you as pirating the
 end product?

I feel that the GPL is a necessary evil. It's a hack on top of a broken system. Ideally, there should be no need for it at all. Currently the GPL is the exception to the rule. the default is Closed-source. I'd want it to be the default while closed source would be the exception. to answer your question: yes it's wrong to subvert the GPL. The parallel you're trying to draw here however is not acceptable to me. these are two separate issues.

They very much are the same thing. When you take GPLed source, compile it into an executable, and distribute it without adhering to the terms of the GPL you are violating the conditions set forth by the copyright holders. A recent court decision[1], applying specifically to the Artistic License (but which will likely apply to other OSS licenses), clearly defines violation of such a license as copyright infringement. Both scenarios involve distribution of copyrighted material in a manner not permitted by the copyright holders. I've always been perplexed by how some software developers can be so adamant at adhering to OSS licenses while being so cavalier about pirating software. It's such a counterintuitive thing. Once upon a time, I would have simply argued that your opposition to subverting the GPL while in support of subverting copyright law is illogical. Now I can add that it's contradicted by the courts. [1] http://lessig.org/blog/2008/08/huge_and_important_news_free_l.html
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling parent "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"Yigal Chripun" <yigal100 gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:g899ph$1gks$1 digitalmars.com...
 Mike Parker wrote:
 no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to
 earn a living.

But you want to take the choice of how they do so out of their hands.

Again, I do not take that choice. You claim that a software developer has the right to decide to treat his software as a product and sell "units" of it. I claim that such an option does not exist in the first place. software is information, either you share it or you keep it to yourself. beyond that there are copy-right laws that _give_ the author a limited time-span of exclusivity. the software developer doesn't have a right to exclusivity, he receives it from society for a limited time. that time span should represent a balance between the fact the published work is public domain and the need to make it worthwhile for an individual to publish his work. current us law is 70 years after the death of that individual is out of balance entirely. a more reasonable amount (for software) should be 10-15 years at most. maybe even less.

Again you are making an utterly pointless distinction. When we talk about what rights the author has of course we are talking about what rights our societys have decided they have. We are not saying the rights are bestowed on us by god. Although FWIW i agree the length of copyright is far too long. I think perhaps 20 years would be long enough.
 I don't dispute any of that (well, except the last bit about the future
 of indies). The opportunities opened up by the internet are tremendous,
 and I've taken advantage of them myself to some extent. But you've
 missed the point entirely. I'm not saying we should disallow free
 distribution. That's rather silly. My argument is that *it's the
 creator's choice to sell his product or distribute it freely.*

Again, this choice never existed but rather manufactured artificially by a few groups of interest.

Again an utterly pointless thing to say. You may as well say that a few hundred years ago we didnt have the right to a fair trials so we should not have them now. It's utterly irelevant, we have that right today, so lets stick to talking about that. (at least we do in civilized countries).
 Why don't you pay for each song you here on the radio for example?
 when you go to a restaurant do you pay for the taste, the smell or the
 food itself?

We do pay for songs that are played on the radio. In America there's ASCAP, and likewise in other countries there are organizations that are licenced by the government / rights owners, to collect royalties from the radio stations. The radio stations typicaly pay these royalties by runing adverts.
 Speaking of the GPL, how do you feel about taking GPLed code and using
 it in closed-source, proprietary software that is then distributed to
 your customers freely or commercially (that is, ignoring the terms of
 the GPL altogether)? Is that just as acceptable to you as pirating the
 end product?

I feel that the GPL is a necessary evil. It's a hack on top of a broken system. Ideally, there should be no need for it at all. Currently the GPL is the exception to the rule. the default is Closed-source. I'd want it to be the default while closed source would be the exception. to answer your question: yes it's wrong to subvert the GPL. The parallel you're trying to draw here however is not acceptable to me. these are two separate issues.

So GPL coders have the right to control what is done with their work but book authors / musicians dont?
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling parent "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"Yigal Chripun" <yigal100 gmail.com> wrote in message
news:g88lc3$hgc$1 digitalmars.com...
 Mike Parker wrote:
 No, I'm not. My assertion is that the creator of a thing has a right to
 determine if and how that thing will be distributed to others. The rest
 of the world doesn't suddenly get to decide that they can distribute the
 thing freely just because they can. If I create a PC game, I dictate if
 it's freeware or commercial -- not the users.

your train of thought here is going backwards. No one "suddenly" decided to take away the right to control distribution from the creator. That right never existed in the first place.

No rights exist a priori, and it adds nothing to this discusion to point that out. We can only talk about rights in the context of what society decides we have, or what we think those rights should be. So if society decided we have the right to control distribution of our work, then we do have those rights.
 At the end of the day, everyone has to make a living. Contrary to some
 assertions, I don't see that as an emotional argument. There's nothing
 illogical about the need to put food on the table. No one disputes the
 right of a carpenter to be paid for his work, nor for a doctor to be
 paid for his (though some would dispute the amount). Why, then, is it so
 difficult to accept that a software developer should be compensated for
 his work as well? Or a musician?

no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to earn a living.

But you do seem to want to dictate how they do so. And you seem to want to dictate that they make their living in a way that best benefits you.
 what I'm trying to say here is that allowing free distribution of music
 online makes it easier for a young new artist (or software developer) to
 achieve his goals (becoming a known artist). I claim that we'll find
 our selves in a world where the independent creators, the garage bands
 and bedroom software developers, have _NOT_ gone the way of the dodo but
 rather flourish.

You obviously dont know many people who do this or else you'd know that the vast majority of bands / artist online, still SELL their music. They dont give it away for free, yes sometimes they give some tracks for free, or have listen online thingmebobs, for promotional reasons, but they dont give all their music away for free. And in fact the real benefit of the internet for these people is free and cheap access to distribution / the public, not distribution of their work for free. Small software developers in the pro audio industry have flourished because of easy entry to the market. They havn't flourished by giving their software away for free and hoping somone will drop a few pennies in the honesty box.
 Another example - current state of the legal system makes it harder for
 two teams of OSS to work together since they are afraid of legal
 consequences. (phobos and tango)
 in a more free legal system we wouldn't find ourselves waiting for more
 than a year since one author is afraid of taint and possibly getting
 sued in the future duo to it. the absurd is that both projects provide
 freely redistributable code and yet there are still fears of taint.

In a more free legal system there might never have been a phobos, or a digital mars. If Walter and the company he worked for couldnt have protected their investment its likely none of us would be here chatting now. Capitalism, and property rights, are what has made western societys so prosperous, they encourage investment and enterprise. Just because such laws / rights sometimes have negative effects doesnt mean they are all bad, and should be scrapped.
 If you ever watched "sliders" than you'd probably seen the episode where
 they slid to a world with 85% of the population having law degrees. in
 that world you had to provide a full health record and a signed and
 legally approved note that you wouldn't sue just to buy a hamburger.

Have you heard of the USSR? Of China? Of North Korea? There's some real world examples, not sci fi jibberish, of why having weak property rights is bad for enterprise and economy. Just look at how China has flourished since it embraced capatalism.
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
My major issue with what you wrote is this:
60 years or so ago women didn't have the right to vote in the US. let's
go even before that to the time when black people in America were
considered property and didn't have any rights. In that period of time a
white person could claim that the law states that his black slave is his
property and it is entirely legal and moral to treat him as such. Today,
you'd of course disagree. Just as that man would claim according to the
law that black people where not really people and didn't have any
rights, you now claim that we are not entitled to the right of freedom
of information.
besides that, you talk in metaphors of infinitely copyable chairs (just
like in star trek..). I can compare that with the philosophical question
of "what if a tree falls in the forest and there's nobody there, does it
make a sound?" BUT, elementary physics tells us that the tree does make
a sound regardless. And I'll tell you: The chairs are *not* infinitely
copyable. What if I had three legs? well, I don't. So please stick to
the reality that chairs are not the same thing as software.

There are no inherit rights that allow the author to control
distribution. The way it actually works is this:
a) you came up with new exciting idea/poem/article/software/etc..
b) either you keep it to yourself or you publish it.
c) once it was published it is in the public domain. you cannot tell me:
I have an idea such as <some idea> BUT since I just told you my idea it
is mine alone and you cannot use it. If you do not want me to use your
idea just keep it for yourself and don't tell anyone about it. This is
what Coca-Cola does with its secret recipe. (it's secret!)

The above basic scheme was augmented by copyright/patent laws in the
following matter:
The state gives the creator a *limited* time-span of exclusivity from
the moment he told the world his idea or published his book/song/etc.
This is a trade-off designed to make it worthwhile for people to come up
with new ideas, invest their time in art, etc. I.e the public gives some
of its rights in order to gain more diversity of ideas and such.

Your entire analogy to chairs and such is plain false. This is not about
evil me trying to prevent the hard working artist/software developer
from earning his [well deserved] keep. With your method it is illogical
for a creator to give away his creation freely and yet get paid for his
hard work. That is, companies like Red hat simply cannot exist since you
can freely [and legally] download all their products on their website.
Yet, fact is that Red hat is a very financially successful company.

Another example would be music artists which distribute their music
freely online and yet do get paid for their hard work - the more people
listen to their music online the more will want to come to a live
performance [and pay for the ticket]. many artists already realized
this. They do not need the record companies to be successful. on the
contrary, the more they give for free, the more fans they have and the
more they earn.

When I wanted to buy a book about Java I went and bought "Thinking in
Java" which the author publishes a free online version of on his site.
I did download and read the online version and that convinced me it to
pay for the paper version. Not only that but I also recommend this book
and other books by the author, Bruce Eckel, to all my friends.

One last thing: history teaches us that once the freedom of information
is lost all the other rights will soon follow. happened numerous times
all over the world. we all know that when someone burns books the next
thing he'll burn will be people.

Jesse Phillips wrote:
 Ok, let us leave out the chairs and discuss books (books of fiction). 
 (Little tangent: I will agree there is no, "right to make a living." 
 Hell, I can go as far as to say that there is no right to life, liberty, 
 or pursuit of happiness. But then I would have to continue and say that 
 no one has the right to remove someones life, liberty, or happiness. So 
 really where did we go with this?)
 
 Fiction books, I really would say that this is a collection of 
 information (yes information is in it, but it is not solely information) 
 and you probably disagree. Your claim is that if I can in some way 
 (scanner/typing) get the information in this book onto in infinitely 
 distributable medium I am allowed to distribute this as I see fit because 
 I still have the original? And now back to chairs.
 
 Since you can't seem to state the difference from selling physical items 
 and phantom "infinitely copyable items," think I shall make an attempt 
 and include why the purchaser of said product does not buy a right at any 
 point in time to copy and distribute. As said, physical items are lost 
 when distributed to another. However, if you had some way in which that 
 chair could be copied, production line, I would assume that you would 
 claim that I could only charge for the material cost that goes into it 
 then? I obviously couldn't charge for labor because that would be like a 
 Programmer charging for his software since only labor went into it. But 
 then why would the original creator have a right to set a price for his 
 chair, and probably include the labor in that price, shouldn't it just be 
 for the materials that he use? But then again, why did the materials cost 
 money? Wouldn't it have only been labor put in to get those materials, 
 thus in reality everything is free? Yes there is the supply and demand 
 thing, where the person laboring for materials will sell to the highest 
 bidder. And this is where we have the difference; A laborer can change 
 pricing by not producing an infinite quantity, bits can not be controlled 
 (*cough* DRM *cough*).
 
 This leads to the last point, why the end-user has no right to copy for 
 distribution. The creator has, by having labored (which is not limited to 
 physical), the right to define how copies for distribution are done. (I 
 wish to emphasize _for_) The problem is that software and anything else 
 digital, does not come with this natural property of limited quantity or 
 required labor to copy.
 
 I think I should also cover what I think the end-user does have the right 
 to do once he buys the product. First off he is bound to the legal 
 contract that he agrees to by using the product, why? Because he agreed 
 to it by the fact that he is using the product (this my change depending 
 on where you live, but local law should still rule). If not given some 
 legal document, be it an OSS on or not, I see these rights for the end-
 user. 
 
 The user can not make a profit off of the purchased good until it is no 
 longer being distributed by the creator, the creator is no longer making 
 money. (If a company is the creator, which is likely, they would have 
 some allotted time under 80yrs to control it).
 
 The user has the right to resell, see first point, as long as he is 
 giving up his right of use i.e. he is not keeping a copy for himself to 
 use after the sale.
 
 The user has control over his copy. Just like a chairs, guests can use it 
 with permission from the copy's owner. And if he does not like his chair 
 in the living room he can take it to the dinning room. Personal use 
 copies are fine.
 
 On the subject of users copying. The user can copy for distribution, the 
 end result. If I have a reclining chair, I can take that idea and make my 
 own reclining chair that works and looks exactly the same, as long as I 
 don't use how the original was done (which just might make it hard to 
 prove that it really was all my work).
 
 To sum it up, the end-user does not have the right to decided for the 
 creator, how copy for distribution is handled.

Aug 16 2008
next sibling parent reply "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"Yigal Chripun" <yigal100 gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:g87t4r$1uq6$1 digitalmars.com...
 My major issue with what you wrote is this:
 60 years or so ago women didn't have the right to vote in the US. let's
 go even before that to the time when black people in America were
 considered property and didn't have any rights. In that period of time a
 white person could claim that the law states that his black slave is his
 property and it is entirely legal and moral to treat him as such. Today,
 you'd of course disagree. Just as that man would claim according to the
 law that black people where not really people and didn't have any
 rights, you now claim that we are not entitled to the right of freedom
 of information.

One of the consequences of the abolition of slavery was that those people now had the right to paid for their work, whereas previously they didnt. So your crass analogy actualy works against you.
 besides that, you talk in metaphors of infinitely copyable chairs (just
 like in star trek..). I can compare that with the philosophical question
 of "what if a tree falls in the forest and there's nobody there, does it
 make a sound?" BUT, elementary physics tells us that the tree does make
 a sound regardless. And I'll tell you: The chairs are *not* infinitely
 copyable. What if I had three legs? well, I don't. So please stick to
 the reality that chairs are not the same thing as software.

I think he was making the point that when you buy a physical product you are not just paying for materials, but also for the labour, whether production line labour or the labour in development and design. If you take the actual cost of materials out of the analogy with a chair you are left with a similar situation we have with software, where the cost of the product is almost all labour costs.
 There are no inherit rights that allow the author to control
 distribution. The way it actually works is this:

There are no inherent rights to anything in this world. Human rights, or copyrights, or civil rights, all of these are human creations. So when we talk about such rights, it only makes sense to do so in that context. What rights has our society / social group decided we have.
 a) you came up with new exciting idea/poem/article/software/etc..
 b) either you keep it to yourself or you publish it.
 c) once it was published it is in the public domain. you cannot tell me:
 I have an idea such as <some idea> BUT since I just told you my idea it
 is mine alone and you cannot use it. If you do not want me to use your
 idea just keep it for yourself and don't tell anyone about it. This is
 what Coca-Cola does with its secret recipe. (it's secret!)

You dont copyright ideas, you patent ideas. Copyright is for protecting works, artistic or otherwise, not for protecting ideas. If you read a book for example you are free to tell people about the ideas in the book. Nobody is trying to stop you doing that. But you are not usualy free to make a copy of the book and give that to them.
 Your entire analogy to chairs and such is plain false. This is not about
 evil me trying to prevent the hard working artist/software developer
 from earning his [well deserved] keep. With your method it is illogical
 for a creator to give away his creation freely and yet get paid for his
 hard work. That is, companies like Red hat simply cannot exist since you
 can freely [and legally] download all their products on their website.
 Yet, fact is that Red hat is a very financially successful company.

Straw man. He never said you cant do whatever business model you want, he simply said the "software is a product" business model is a valid one. That some companies do well with "software as a service" doesnt mean we should force all companies to be like that. Or that we should rigidly confine our idea of what software is in such a way.
 Another example would be music artists which distribute their music
 freely online and yet do get paid for their hard work - the more people
 listen to their music online the more will want to come to a live
 performance [and pay for the ticket]. many artists already realized
 this. They do not need the record companies to be successful. on the
 contrary, the more they give for free, the more fans they have and the
 more they earn.

From what I've read the majority of bands / artists who are actualy doing well with such models are ones who have already climbed up music industry ladder and were already world famous before going independant..
 When I wanted to buy a book about Java I went and bought "Thinking in
 Java" which the author publishes a free online version of on his site.
 I did download and read the online version and that convinced me it to
 pay for the paper version. Not only that but I also recommend this book
 and other books by the author, Bruce Eckel, to all my friends.

If that's his choice of business model good for him. If he makes a living that way great. But if it isnt he shouldnt be forced to adopt that business model by people like you. Dont get me wrong, i like such ways of doing things, i like free software, and such try before buy busniess models. But i dont think I have a right to it. I dont have the right to force you to do business in a way that suits me.
 One last thing: history teaches us that once the freedom of information
 is lost all the other rights will soon follow. happened numerous times
 all over the world. we all know that when someone burns books the next
 thing he'll burn will be people.

You're very confused. Freedom of information is about cencorship, government control of information, and about such information being *freely accessible*. It's not about information being free as in free beer. And again i find your analogy with book burning somewhat crass. The situation we are talking about here is nothing like that. No-one is trying to erase certain ideas / artistic works from history. We are in fact trying to do the exact oposite. We are trying to create an enviroment where ideas and artist works flourish.
Aug 16 2008
next sibling parent reply Yigal Chripun <yigal100 gmail.com> writes:
Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
 On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 04:12:37AM +0100, Jb wrote:
 No-one is trying 
 to erase certain ideas / artistic works from history. We are in fact trying 
 to do the exact oposite. We are trying to create an enviroment where ideas 
 and artist works flourish.

Then why is this debate about rights? Rights are irrelevant - what matters is the results. If your goal is to create an environment where ideas and art flourish, great. That's a good goal, and that is where your defence should be focused. Forget all this repetitive talk about rights, and talk about how the law helps or doesn't help achieve this goal (or whatever other goal you want to set). Copyright law might be a valid way to achieve this goal. It might not be. There might be completely better ways (something I'm convinced of). Setting a real world goal for the debate lets both sides create an objective test case for their arguments, which would let it finally come to an adequate conclusion.

I agree with you. if we talk about results: allowing free redistribution of information allows young aspiring artists to go straight to the public and spread the word about their art. this also works for software developers with the same model. You do not need to convince someone with lots of money to invest in you in order to create your software. you do not need to start your own company. Many OSS developers done just that. i.e Linus published his kernel online, it got successful and now he's being paid to develop his pet project. same goes for the core developers of all OSS. the problem is greed. people think they can go write a text-editor, patent the sh*t out of it and become billionaires. also on the way screwing anyone else that also wanted to produce a text editor. so yes, with OSS you won't become the next bill gates with your software, but, we'll have more diversity of software and more people could make a descent living by being software developers. besides, why does it make sense that we should have a small bunch of people controlling all software and getting all the benefits?
Aug 17 2008
parent Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Yigal Chripun wrote:
 Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
 On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 04:12:37AM +0100, Jb wrote:
 No-one is trying 
 to erase certain ideas / artistic works from history. We are in fact trying 
 to do the exact oposite. We are trying to create an enviroment where ideas 
 and artist works flourish.

matters is the results. If your goal is to create an environment where ideas and art flourish, great. That's a good goal, and that is where your defence should be focused. Forget all this repetitive talk about rights, and talk about how the law helps or doesn't help achieve this goal (or whatever other goal you want to set). Copyright law might be a valid way to achieve this goal. It might not be. There might be completely better ways (something I'm convinced of). Setting a real world goal for the debate lets both sides create an objective test case for their arguments, which would let it finally come to an adequate conclusion.

I agree with you. if we talk about results: allowing free redistribution of information allows young aspiring artists to go straight to the public and spread the word about their art.

This has been mentioned before, but there's a difference between liberty and gratuity. It's unfortunate that we use the one word, freedom, to represent both in English.
 this also works for software developers with the same model. You do not
 need to convince someone with lots of money to invest in you in order to
 create your software. you do not need to start your own company.
 Many OSS developers done just that.
 i.e Linus published his kernel online, it got successful and now he's
 being paid to develop his pet project. same goes for the core developers
 of all OSS. the problem is greed. people think they can go write a
 text-editor, patent the sh*t out of it and become billionaires. also on
 the way screwing anyone else that also wanted to produce a text editor.
 so yes, with OSS you won't become the next bill gates with your
 software, but, we'll have more diversity of software and more people
 could make a descent living by being software developers.
 
 besides, why does it make sense that we should have a small bunch of
 people controlling all software and getting all the benefits?

You're taking this argument well beyond the boundaries and entering the territory of ideology. No one denies that Linus was free to distribute Linux without charge. No one in these discussions here have advocated that people be prevented from doing so. And I've yet to see anyone lend support to the idea that all software should be controlled by a few people. What people here have argued is that Linus had the /choice/ to release Linux freely. That's freedom (liberty). It was *his* choice. Not yours, not mine. He could just as easily have chosen to charge you an arm and a leg for it. We can all be happy that he didn't. But if you allow anyone and everyone to freely (gratis) distribute the work of others without permission, you are then impugning the freedom (liberty) of the creators. Is that what you really want?
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> wrote in message
news:mailman.7.1218945114.19733.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 04:12:37AM +0100, Jb wrote:
 No-one is trying
 to erase certain ideas / artistic works from history. We are in fact
 trying
 to do the exact oposite. We are trying to create an enviroment where
 ideas
 and artist works flourish.

Then why is this debate about rights? Rights are irrelevant - what matters is the results.

Because rights are what lead us to those results. Human rights are what make society more fair, compasionate, and inclusive. For example.
 If your goal is to create an environment where ideas and art flourish,
 great. That's a good goal, and that is where your defence should be
 focused.

That's pretty much where my defense has been focused.
 Forget all this repetitive talk about rights, and talk about how the
 law helps or doesn't help achieve this goal (or whatever other goal you
 want to set).

It is the law that decides what rights we have. You cannot talk about this without talking about rights.
 Copyright law might be a valid way to achieve this goal. It might not
 be. There might be completely better ways (something I'm convinced of).

I think the mistake you and Yigal are making is assuming that it should all be done in the same way. Red Hat does this or that why cant everyone else? Well the system should allow people as much freedom as possible to work on whichever business model best suits their enterprise. Which is pretty much what we have today. By allowing authors to control distribution they can control the business model. They can give it away if they like. They can go for a service model, and honesty box model, or a product model. But if you take away that right the range of options open to them is far smaller. And you would see far less enterprise because of it.
Aug 17 2008
parent Mike Parker <aldacron gmail.com> writes:
Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
 On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 06:58:13PM +0100, Jb wrote:
 I think the mistake you and Yigal are making is assuming that it should all 
 be done in the same way.

My own position is may be a little weird. As far as rights to information goes, there are a two: 1) You cannot force someone to divulge anything. Thus, he is free to charge someone for a piece of information if he wants. 2) You cannot force someone /not/ to divulge something. Thus, once you tell someone something, he is free to resell it if he wants. In short, I'm saying a person can choose to tell or not tell whatever he wants. We are definitely in agreement on point #1. Copyright directly restricts point #2 - it forces people to not divulge something they know, lest they face undesirable consequences.

Copyright has no relevance to the spread of information. That's what NDAs and opaque governments are for. You are absolutely free to divulge anything and everything you know about copyrighted material. You just can't copy if for distribution. Go ahead, write an essay describing the inner workings of the copyrighted software you've reverse engineered so that others can recreate it. You'll violate no copyright by doing so (and no need to mention the DMCA -- that's nothing to do with copyright and everything to do with corporate bottom lines). That's information and you are at total liberty to spread it as you see fit. The software itself is *not* information.
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling parent reply "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 06:58:13PM +0100, Jb wrote:
 I think the mistake you and Yigal are making is assuming that it should all 
 be done in the same way.

My own position is may be a little weird. As far as rights to information goes, there are a two: 1) You cannot force someone to divulge anything. Thus, he is free to charge someone for a piece of information if he wants. 2) You cannot force someone /not/ to divulge something. Thus, once you tell someone something, he is free to resell it if he wants. In short, I'm saying a person can choose to tell or not tell whatever he wants. We are definitely in agreement on point #1. Copyright directly restricts point #2 - it forces people to not divulge something they know, lest they face undesirable consequences. Use of force to modify people's behaviour needs to be justified. This is where the disagreement really lies, and as you read on, you'll see that you and I don't really disagree as much here as it might look at first glance :)
 Well the system should allow people as much freedom as possible to work on 
 whichever business model best suits their enterprise.

If my business model was to murder all my competitors, you surely wouldn't allow that. Clearly, people aren't free to pick which ever business model best suits them - there are restrictions on what they can do, especially when it comes to using force on other people. As I said above, copyright law is using force on other people to modify their behaviour. It seems like it, by default, shouldn't be permitted. Unlike most human rights which prevent you from using force on people except in extreme circumstances (people have a right to life, thus murder is wrong, etc.), copyright permits you to use force on people. This is backward. The burden of proof is on the pro-copyright side.
 But if you take away that right the range of options open to them is far 
 smaller.
 
 And you would see far less enterprise because of it.

They don't have the option to send armed thugs to their competitor's office to prevent him from manufacturing other objects, and that doesn't hurt business - quite the opposite, it helps business. Copyright might not be sending armed thugs, but it is the same idea: you are forcing someone else out in favor of yourself. I would argue that in an ideal world, there would be no copyright, and this is something that would allow art to flourish. Consider a world without copyright for a moment. Say you find a software library on the Internet that is perfect for your needs and would shave weeks off your development time. With copyright, you have to adhere to its license, which wastes your time. Without copyright, you just take it and use it. Your project is now completed weeks ahead of schedule and is of higher quality than if you had to reimplement that library yourself. This lets you move on to another project more quickly. The world gets more and better creations since you weren't restricted in what you could do in creating it. Later on, someone could do the same to your project, using it or pieces of it to shave time off his own project, adding more and more quantity and quality of creations to the world. This would be ideal. Art would flourish. But the real world isn't ideal as it is right now. This is where you might be able to justify a copyright law. In the real world, if you devote several months to creating something, you have bills that need to be paid during those months. You have two options: 1) Work another job to pay the bills. This eats into the time you would otherwise spend on the creation of your project, meaning you can't create as much nor as high quality as you could by devoting more time to it. Or 2) Make some money off that project in some way. This lets you devote all your time to the creation of the art while still paying the bills. There are a few ways to accomplish that. One is to sell originals of the work to people later. Musicians can do this by selling tickets to live performances. Painters can do this by selling their painting. Software developers can't do this directly. The best hope they have is selling support, which IMO isn't a very attractive option... Another is to work on commission. You create a custom work for someone who pays you ahead of time to create something just for him. This is actually how I make money off my software right now in the real world; I write extremely boring, but highly specialized applications to specific customers. They pay me for a custom fitted program, which I cannot control at all when it is done (the copyright is assigned to the customer.) That is how artists worked through most of history. It's a fairly good model for various kinds of artists, including software developers. Even without copyright, people will probably still want custom-tailored solutions to their own problems and will be willing to pay for it. Another way to pay the bills while being an artist is to be sponsored by someone. This is comparatively rare, so it isn't something on which to bet the farm. Finally, you have the copyright option: using force to shape the market in such a way where it is profitable to you. If none of the above options are workable, this lets the artist still pay the bills while working on his art full-time. Thus, most everyone is happy: the art is created, letting people have it and the artist doesn't have to starve to death. That result is the only thing that justifies copyright. It isn't about the rights of the creator - he doesn't have the right to use force on people under normal circumstances, so that argument is right out. It is about the end result. In an ideal world, copyright would be an evil. It would do only harm and no good. (As you can probably tell, the definition of the ideal world I'm using here is simply one where bills /don't/ have to be paid. Other than that difference, all things are equal with the real world. I strongly believe that the real world could be adjusted to fit this definition in the near future, if only we had the political will to make some changes.) In the ideal world, the only restriction I'd place on 'intellectual property' is basically what several of the phobos source licenses say: you may not misrepresent the source of the work. Otherwise, do whatever you want with it. In the real world, it serves a useful purpose - letting artists work full time without selling originals or working on commission, permitting things to be created that otherwise would be neglected in favor of the artist paying his bills. Thus it is allowed to exist. That's it. -- Adam D. Ruppe http://arsdnet.net
Aug 17 2008
parent "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.8.1219006500.19733.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...

 In the real world, it serves a useful purpose - letting artists work full
 time without selling originals or working on commission, permitting things
 to be created that otherwise would be neglected in favor of the artist 
 paying
 his bills. Thus it is allowed to exist.

I wish you'd put that paragraph first and then I wouldnt have spent 30 minutes responding to all your utopian copyright free wet dreams. ;-) I do think you overstate what copyright actualy does. It doesnt prevent sharing of ideas and information. It just prevent copying of (usualy) artistic works. You can read a book and tell people about what is in the book. Explain the ideas. Or tell them about your experiences of a film you saw. You can even buy it on DVD and have them round your house to watch it. All it actualy does is stop you making a copy and giving it to them.
Consider a world without copyright for a moment. Say you find a software
library on the Internet that is perfect for your needs and would shave
weeks off your development time.

With copyright, you have to adhere to its license, which wastes your time.
Without copyright, you just take it and use it.

Actualy without copyright the chances of finding that library would be greatly diminished. For a start if people want to they can already create software and release with no restrictions. This option already exists. All that would happen if you killed copyright is the people who write and release software in order to make a living would likely go out of business and end up doing somthing else. For a start nobody would be obliged to pay for their work. Second anyone could copy it and put it up on their website, and sell it as if it were there own. You end up in a situation where those people with the most ruthless business practices are the ones who will do most well. So the idea that art / software production would flourish without copyright is plain false, it's so false it's almost absurd.
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling parent reply Christopher Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
Jesse Phillips wrote:
 On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 03:59:08 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:
 There are no inherit rights that allow the author to control
 distribution. The way it actually works is this: a) you came up with new
 exciting idea/poem/article/software/etc.. b) either you keep it to
 yourself or you publish it. c) once it was published it is in the public
 domain. you cannot tell me: I have an idea such as <some idea> BUT since
 I just told you my idea it is mine alone and you cannot use it. If you
 do not want me to use your idea just keep it for yourself and don't tell
 anyone about it. This is what Coca-Cola does with its secret recipe.
 (it's secret!)

Yeah, they are natural rights given by nature. A farmer produces corn, and low and behold he has control over distribution of it.

Unless someone else decides to take away that corn by force. Which is my right, given by nature, if I can pull it off. The notion of property requires some enforcing mechanism, whether it be brute force or legal convention (and the law is backed up by brute force). But physical property doesn't require any great amount of communication; I live in a place, and I actively prevent other people from living there. Intellectual property is a much more recent invention. For example, William Shakespeare didn't publish any of his plays. One of the few early English playwrights to publish their own works, Ben Johnson, was ridiculed for having done so -- it was polite and properly modest to allow others to publish your works, with no compensation to you. Intellectual property began, I believe, with Renaissance monarchs promoting particular manufacturers by giving them monopolies. If an enterprising entrepreneur created a new product, the rights to manufacture that might be restricted to one individual in the king's favor. This was not any notion of fairness or protection for inventors; it was simply nepotism. In recent times, intellectual property has been extended to cover nearly everything you can think of, and it's transformed into a system intended to protect content creators. This is progress. One can argue that insufficient thought has been given to issues such as remixing copyrighted works, or orphaned copyrights, or patents intended only to generate lawsuits. (I would.) (Also, it's "lo and behold", not "low and behold".)
Aug 17 2008
parent Christopher Wright <dhasenan gmail.com> writes:
Jesse Phillips wrote:
 On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 09:47:46 -0400, Christopher Wright wrote:
 
 Jesse Phillips wrote:
 On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 03:59:08 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:
 There are no inherit rights that allow the author to control
 distribution. The way it actually works is this: a) you came up with
 new exciting idea/poem/article/software/etc.. b) either you keep it to
 yourself or you publish it. c) once it was published it is in the
 public domain. you cannot tell me: I have an idea such as <some idea>
 BUT since I just told you my idea it is mine alone and you cannot use
 it. If you do not want me to use your idea just keep it for yourself
 and don't tell anyone about it. This is what Coca-Cola does with its
 secret recipe. (it's secret!)

and low and behold he has control over distribution of it.

right, given by nature, if I can pull it off.

Ok, so you claim that stealing is your right if you can get away with it. This indicates we should start there with are argument.

That is my natural right, since it is my ability. I do not claim that it is right or good or just; society defines those, and society is not the source of natural rights. But it's pointless to talk about natural rights. You can talk about societal rights or, if you're so inclined, God-given rights.
 The notion of property requires some enforcing mechanism, whether it be
 brute force or legal convention (and the law is backed up by brute
 force). But physical property doesn't require any great amount of
 communication; I live in a place, and I actively prevent other people
 from living there.

Ok, so as long as you have some sort of force to use, you can claim anything to be yours.

Well, yes. If fifty armed men showed up at your door and said that all your pillow cases were now theirs, you wouldn't be inclined to argue.
 Intellectual property is a much more recent invention. For example,
 William Shakespeare didn't publish any of his plays. One of the few
 early English playwrights to publish their own works, Ben Johnson, was
 ridiculed for having done so -- it was polite and properly modest to
 allow others to publish your works, with no compensation to you.

Who cares if it is recent or not. The US Constitution is a recent invention, and yet us Americans don't criticize it for that. Actually some may claim it is too old.

Being a recent invention, intellectual property protection is clearly not a basic right of humans. Not all societies will require it.
 I'm not trying to defend how the legal system is set up to handle the 
 issue. Many will agree the legal system is crap.

Because intellectual property is a recent invention, its implementations may not be optimal. Unfortunately, a well-defined legal system predates intellectual property, so it's harder to try out different mechanisms for IP protection.
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling parent "Bruce Adams" <tortoise_74 yeah.who.co.uk> writes:
On Fri, 15 Aug 2008 21:10:21 +0100, Julio CÚsar Carrascal Urquijo  
<jcarrascal gmail.com> wrote:

 Hello downs,

 Software is purely information. "Software is a product" is a
 relatively novel idea that, I believe, was invented by our friends at
 MS (though I cannot point at a source for that claim).

Maybe this one: http://www.blinkenlights.com/classiccmp/gateswhine.html

Was that the trigger that turned him into Monty Burns?
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Jesse Phillips <jessekphillips gmail.com> writes:
On Fri, 15 Aug 2008 20:12:23 +0200, downs wrote:

 Mike Parker wrote:
 bobef wrote:
 Robert Fraser Wrote:
 Yigal Chripun Wrote:

 Robert Fraser wrote:
  > I've had very mixed feelings about all this. One one hand, the
 letter
 of the
 law may be questionably constitutional. But millions of dollars
 every day are
 lost because people (including myself occasionally...) steal
 copyrighted
 material. Honestly, I think there should be much stricter penalties
 for
 things like internet piracy, because it's simply so widespread and
 damaging.

in the constitution) but all of the above is bullshit. (sorry for the language). stealing only applies to physical things like chairs and cars. that whole metaphor of information as physical entities is wrong. you sure can infringe someone's copyrights but you cannot steal anything since there's nothing to steal.

linguistic ones that stemmed from not having the words to represent the concepts being spoken about. We're using different definitions of "steal," but the concept is clear -- it's taking something you don't have the right to have taken without paying for, and the debate is over whether you do or should have that right.

also comment :) I wan to support Yigal Chripun. So you say stealing is "taking something". But information (and software) is not something. It is not something you can take. I "pirate" something and I have my copy and you have yours. Nothing have been taken all are happy. This is actually a good thing. Too bad food doesn't work this way. The problem is greed. It has nothing to do with stealing.

no respect for him or the effort he put into developing his software. He'll be extremely glad to know that one more person thinks he doesn't deserve the same right to make a living that producers of physical goods enjoy.

Bullshit. There is no such thing as "right to make a living".
 He'll be jumping for joy when enough people out there like you dash his
 dreams of working as a full-time developer and he has to go out and
 find another job to put food on the table. Oh, happy days!

There are two kind of arguments: logical arguments and emotional arguments. Guess which yours is.
 Software *is* something. Just because it is infinitely copyable doesn't
 give you the right to copy it. No one has the right to take something
 someone else has created without the creator's permission.

This is a common illusion. (I blame Disney). The right to exclusivity is granted to the creator, by the state, for a certain period of time. It does not exist "by default".
 I'm sure we
 can agree that if you want a chair I've crafted and I want to charge
 you for it, then I am well within my right to do so.

Could we PLEASE keep the comparisons to physical goods out of it? NOT. THE SAME. THING.
 How is it that when my
 creation is infinitely copyable, I suddenly lose that right?

Because you don't lose the original anymore. This has been said hundreds of times.
 I've heard
 this argument many, many, many times, but it still makes no sense to
 me. True, when you copy my infinitely copyable creation I'm not losing
 a physical object, but I *am* losing something -- compensation for the
 time and effort I put into it.

Which, by the way, is not a right. Are people normally bound to buy your physical goods?
 It takes a heck of a lot longer to
 develop, test and debug a software application than it does to craft a
 chair.

Maybe for cheap chairs.
 So why do you think developers shouldn't be afforded the same right as
 a craftsman? What gives you the right, in my stead, to decide if my
 product should be freely available?
 

 And don't come at me with that 'information should be free' crap.
 Software is not information. It's a product.

Software is purely information. "Software is a product" is a relatively novel idea that, I believe, was invented by our friends at MS (though I cannot point at a source for that claim).

Ok, let us leave out the chairs and discuss books (books of fiction). (Little tangent: I will agree there is no, "right to make a living." Hell, I can go as far as to say that there is no right to life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness. But then I would have to continue and say that no one has the right to remove someones life, liberty, or happiness. So really where did we go with this?) Fiction books, I really would say that this is a collection of information (yes information is in it, but it is not solely information) and you probably disagree. Your claim is that if I can in some way (scanner/typing) get the information in this book onto in infinitely distributable medium I am allowed to distribute this as I see fit because I still have the original? And now back to chairs. Since you can't seem to state the difference from selling physical items and phantom "infinitely copyable items," think I shall make an attempt and include why the purchaser of said product does not buy a right at any point in time to copy and distribute. As said, physical items are lost when distributed to another. However, if you had some way in which that chair could be copied, production line, I would assume that you would claim that I could only charge for the material cost that goes into it then? I obviously couldn't charge for labor because that would be like a Programmer charging for his software since only labor went into it. But then why would the original creator have a right to set a price for his chair, and probably include the labor in that price, shouldn't it just be for the materials that he use? But then again, why did the materials cost money? Wouldn't it have only been labor put in to get those materials, thus in reality everything is free? Yes there is the supply and demand thing, where the person laboring for materials will sell to the highest bidder. And this is where we have the difference; A laborer can change pricing by not producing an infinite quantity, bits can not be controlled (*cough* DRM *cough*). This leads to the last point, why the end-user has no right to copy for distribution. The creator has, by having labored (which is not limited to physical), the right to define how copies for distribution are done. (I wish to emphasize _for_) The problem is that software and anything else digital, does not come with this natural property of limited quantity or required labor to copy. I think I should also cover what I think the end-user does have the right to do once he buys the product. First off he is bound to the legal contract that he agrees to by using the product, why? Because he agreed to it by the fact that he is using the product (this my change depending on where you live, but local law should still rule). If not given some legal document, be it an OSS on or not, I see these rights for the end- user. The user can not make a profit off of the purchased good until it is no longer being distributed by the creator, the creator is no longer making money. (If a company is the creator, which is likely, they would have some allotted time under 80yrs to control it). The user has the right to resell, see first point, as long as he is giving up his right of use i.e. he is not keeping a copy for himself to use after the sale. The user has control over his copy. Just like a chairs, guests can use it with permission from the copy's owner. And if he does not like his chair in the living room he can take it to the dinning room. Personal use copies are fine. On the subject of users copying. The user can copy for distribution, the end result. If I have a reclining chair, I can take that idea and make my own reclining chair that works and looks exactly the same, as long as I don't use how the original was done (which just might make it hard to prove that it really was all my work). To sum it up, the end-user does not have the right to decided for the creator, how copy for distribution is handled.
Aug 16 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Jesse Phillips <jessekphillips gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 03:59:08 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:

 My major issue with what you wrote is this: 60 years or so ago women
 didn't have the right to vote in the US. let's go even before that to
 the time when black people in America were considered property and
 didn't have any rights. In that period of time a white person could
 claim that the law states that his black slave is his property and it is
 entirely legal and moral to treat him as such. Today, you'd of course
 disagree. Just as that man would claim according to the law that black
 people where not really people and didn't have any rights, you now claim
 that we are not entitled to the right of freedom of information.
 besides that, you talk in metaphors of infinitely copyable chairs (just
 like in star trek..). I can compare that with the philosophical question
 of "what if a tree falls in the forest and there's nobody there, does it
 make a sound?" BUT, elementary physics tells us that the tree does make
 a sound regardless. And I'll tell you: The chairs are *not* infinitely
 copyable. What if I had three legs? well, I don't. So please stick to
 the reality that chairs are not the same thing as software.
 

Sorry your beef with the past does not work. Back in those days blacks were property, sad but true. Yes there were people that didn't like it, and it was a horrible treatment of human life, yet there is a reason we do not charge people with a crime that was not a crime at the time. You must work to make change, and breaking law might be the only way to do it, but it is your choice and breaking the law (hence illegal). My infinitely copyable chair example actually made reference to productions lines, which I do believe exist outside of Star Treck. I suppose I will have to state that yes, truly infinite copyable anything can not exist, you have to store you program somewhere. But for all intents and purposes products can be produced to a state that is equivalent to infinitely copyable, you only need enough to satisfy everyone that wants it. Information, this is the god damn English language we are talking about, you need to go and define this thing that you wish to be throwing around as something we have a right to. And frankly, what we refer to for this right is completely different and so I am not going to define it myself because that is not the argument.
 There are no inherit rights that allow the author to control
 distribution. The way it actually works is this: a) you came up with new
 exciting idea/poem/article/software/etc.. b) either you keep it to
 yourself or you publish it. c) once it was published it is in the public
 domain. you cannot tell me: I have an idea such as <some idea> BUT since
 I just told you my idea it is mine alone and you cannot use it. If you
 do not want me to use your idea just keep it for yourself and don't tell
 anyone about it. This is what Coca-Cola does with its secret recipe.
 (it's secret!)

Yeah, they are natural rights given by nature. A farmer produces corn, and low and behold he has control over distribution of it. Why, he labored over it and got a product. If someone else is successful in doing the same, great but in either case this creator has the right given by the fact that to produce corn in such quantities takes work and not everyone is going to stumble across the free supplies they need. Which is where the idea of inherent rights to distribution come from. If a laborer of physical goods gets this right without legal statement, a laborer of something that does not have this innate property should have it extended to him.
 
 The above basic scheme was augmented by copyright/patent laws in the
 following matter:
 The state gives the creator a *limited* time-span of exclusivity from
 the moment he told the world his idea or published his book/song/etc.
 This is a trade-off designed to make it worthwhile for people to come up
 with new ideas, invest their time in art, etc. I.e the public gives some
 of its rights in order to gain more diversity of ideas and such.

Do you see a problem with such an idea? If I work at something that others enjoy why not have exclusive rights to it? Yes people are willing to create things for free, but that was their choice and they were the ones that put work into it.
 
 Your entire analogy to chairs and such is plain false. This is not about
 evil me trying to prevent the hard working artist/software developer
 from earning his [well deserved] keep. With your method it is illogical
 for a creator to give away his creation freely and yet get paid for his
 hard work. That is, companies like Red hat simply cannot exist since you
 can freely [and legally] download all their products on their website.
 Yet, fact is that Red hat is a very financially successful company.

First off, not RedHats choice anyway, they built on something that was already being given out for free. Secondly, how is it logical to give something out for free and then be paid for it? Isn't that like selling it (this is assuming you get paid for every one given out for free). The main fallacy with your argument is saying that people can make money even if the are not charging for it. So what? I'm not arguing here what the best business model is to make the most money. There is lots of great, free software out there where people make money. What does that have to do with anything? If you want to convince people to make their stuff free, then great, but it has nothing to do with are argument.
 
 Another example would be music artists which distribute their music
 freely online and yet do get paid for their hard work - the more people
 listen to their music online the more will want to come to a live
 performance [and pay for the ticket]. many artists already realized
 this. They do not need the record companies to be successful. on the
 contrary, the more they give for free, the more fans they have and the
 more they earn.

See above. I don't care what gets people the most money. I care about these person's right to decide how the do their product distribution.
 
 When I wanted to buy a book about Java I went and bought "Thinking in
 Java" which the author publishes a free online version of on his site. I
 did download and read the online version and that convinced me it to pay
 for the paper version. Not only that but I also recommend this book and
 other books by the author, Bruce Eckel, to all my friends.

See above. Great your one of the nice peoples that pays for things they get for free.
 
 One last thing: history teaches us that once the freedom of information
 is lost all the other rights will soon follow. happened numerous times
 all over the world. we all know that when someone burns books the next
 thing he'll burn will be people.

See third paragraph. Define information, then correlate to how the loss of different types of information (yes there is more than one) lead to loss of other rights. I would agree with you on some, but not all. And maybe this can be the topic of the next postings.
 
 Jesse Phillips wrote:
 Ok, let us leave out the chairs and discuss books (books of fiction).
 (Little tangent: I will agree there is no, "right to make a living."
 Hell, I can go as far as to say that there is no right to life,
 liberty, or pursuit of happiness. But then I would have to continue and
 say that no one has the right to remove someones life, liberty, or
 happiness. So really where did we go with this?)
 
 Fiction books, I really would say that this is a collection of
 information (yes information is in it, but it is not solely
 information) and you probably disagree. Your claim is that if I can in
 some way (scanner/typing) get the information in this book onto in
 infinitely distributable medium I am allowed to distribute this as I
 see fit because I still have the original? And now back to chairs.
 
 Since you can't seem to state the difference from selling physical
 items and phantom "infinitely copyable items," think I shall make an
 attempt and include why the purchaser of said product does not buy a
 right at any point in time to copy and distribute. As said, physical
 items are lost when distributed to another. However, if you had some
 way in which that chair could be copied, production line, I would
 assume that you would claim that I could only charge for the material
 cost that goes into it then? I obviously couldn't charge for labor
 because that would be like a Programmer charging for his software since
 only labor went into it. But then why would the original creator have a
 right to set a price for his chair, and probably include the labor in
 that price, shouldn't it just be for the materials that he use? But
 then again, why did the materials cost money? Wouldn't it have only
 been labor put in to get those materials, thus in reality everything is
 free? Yes there is the supply and demand thing, where the person
 laboring for materials will sell to the highest bidder. And this is
 where we have the difference; A laborer can change pricing by not
 producing an infinite quantity, bits can not be controlled (*cough* DRM
 *cough*).
 
 This leads to the last point, why the end-user has no right to copy for
 distribution. The creator has, by having labored (which is not limited
 to physical), the right to define how copies for distribution are done.
 (I wish to emphasize _for_) The problem is that software and anything
 else digital, does not come with this natural property of limited
 quantity or required labor to copy.
 
 I think I should also cover what I think the end-user does have the
 right to do once he buys the product. First off he is bound to the
 legal contract that he agrees to by using the product, why? Because he
 agreed to it by the fact that he is using the product (this my change
 depending on where you live, but local law should still rule). If not
 given some legal document, be it an OSS on or not, I see these rights
 for the end- user.
 
 The user can not make a profit off of the purchased good until it is no
 longer being distributed by the creator, the creator is no longer
 making money. (If a company is the creator, which is likely, they would
 have some allotted time under 80yrs to control it).
 
 The user has the right to resell, see first point, as long as he is
 giving up his right of use i.e. he is not keeping a copy for himself to
 use after the sale.
 
 The user has control over his copy. Just like a chairs, guests can use
 it with permission from the copy's owner. And if he does not like his
 chair in the living room he can take it to the dinning room. Personal
 use copies are fine.
 
 On the subject of users copying. The user can copy for distribution,
 the end result. If I have a reclining chair, I can take that idea and
 make my own reclining chair that works and looks exactly the same, as
 long as I don't use how the original was done (which just might make it
 hard to prove that it really was all my work).
 
 To sum it up, the end-user does not have the right to decided for the
 creator, how copy for distribution is handled.


Aug 16 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, Aug 17, 2008 at 04:12:37AM +0100, Jb wrote:
 No-one is trying 
 to erase certain ideas / artistic works from history. We are in fact trying 
 to do the exact oposite. We are trying to create an enviroment where ideas 
 and artist works flourish.

Then why is this debate about rights? Rights are irrelevant - what matters is the results. If your goal is to create an environment where ideas and art flourish, great. That's a good goal, and that is where your defence should be focused. Forget all this repetitive talk about rights, and talk about how the law helps or doesn't help achieve this goal (or whatever other goal you want to set). Copyright law might be a valid way to achieve this goal. It might not be. There might be completely better ways (something I'm convinced of). Setting a real world goal for the debate lets both sides create an objective test case for their arguments, which would let it finally come to an adequate conclusion. -- Adam D. Ruppe http://arsdnet.net
Aug 16 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Jesse Phillips <jessekphillips gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 09:47:46 -0400, Christopher Wright wrote:

 Jesse Phillips wrote:
 On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 03:59:08 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:
 There are no inherit rights that allow the author to control
 distribution. The way it actually works is this: a) you came up with
 new exciting idea/poem/article/software/etc.. b) either you keep it to
 yourself or you publish it. c) once it was published it is in the
 public domain. you cannot tell me: I have an idea such as <some idea>
 BUT since I just told you my idea it is mine alone and you cannot use
 it. If you do not want me to use your idea just keep it for yourself
 and don't tell anyone about it. This is what Coca-Cola does with its
 secret recipe. (it's secret!)

Yeah, they are natural rights given by nature. A farmer produces corn, and low and behold he has control over distribution of it.

Unless someone else decides to take away that corn by force. Which is my right, given by nature, if I can pull it off.

Ok, so you claim that stealing is your right if you can get away with it. This indicates we should start there with are argument.
 
 The notion of property requires some enforcing mechanism, whether it be
 brute force or legal convention (and the law is backed up by brute
 force). But physical property doesn't require any great amount of
 communication; I live in a place, and I actively prevent other people
 from living there.

Ok, so as long as you have some sort of force to use, you can claim anything to be yours.
 
 Intellectual property is a much more recent invention. For example,
 William Shakespeare didn't publish any of his plays. One of the few
 early English playwrights to publish their own works, Ben Johnson, was
 ridiculed for having done so -- it was polite and properly modest to
 allow others to publish your works, with no compensation to you.
 

Who cares if it is recent or not. The US Constitution is a recent invention, and yet us Americans don't criticize it for that. Actually some may claim it is too old.
 Intellectual property began, I believe, with Renaissance monarchs
 promoting particular manufacturers by giving them monopolies. If an
 enterprising entrepreneur created a new product, the rights to
 manufacture that might be restricted to one individual in the king's
 favor. This was not any notion of fairness or protection for inventors;
 it was simply nepotism.

See above.
 
 In recent times, intellectual property has been extended to cover nearly
 everything you can think of, and it's transformed into a system intended
 to protect content creators. This is progress. One can argue that
 insufficient thought has been given to issues such as remixing
 copyrighted works, or orphaned copyrights, or patents intended only to
 generate lawsuits. (I would.)

I'm not trying to defend how the legal system is set up to handle the issue. Many will agree the legal system is crap.
 
 
 (Also, it's "lo and behold", not "low and behold".)

Thank you.
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent Jesse Phillips <jessekphillips gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 16:41:06 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:

 Mike Parker wrote:
 no one disputes that the artist/software developer should be able to
 earn a living.

But you want to take the choice of how they do so out of their hands.

Again, I do not take that choice. You claim that a software developer has the right to decide to treat his software as a product and sell "units" of it. I claim that such an option does not exist in the first place. software is information, either you share it or you keep it to yourself. beyond that there are copy-right laws that _give_ the author a limited time-span of exclusivity. the software developer doesn't have a right to exclusivity, he receives it from society for a limited time. that time span should represent a balance between the fact the published work is public domain and the need to make it worthwhile for an individual to publish his work. current us law is 70 years after the death of that individual is out of balance entirely. a more reasonable amount (for software) should be 10-15 years at most. maybe even less.
 what I'm trying to say here is that allowing free distribution of
 music online makes it easier for a young new artist (or software
 developer) to
  achieve his goals (becoming a known artist). I claim that we'll find
 our selves in a world where the independent creators, the garage bands
 and bedroom software developers, have _NOT_ gone the way of the dodo
 but rather flourish.

I don't dispute any of that (well, except the last bit about the future of indies). The opportunities opened up by the internet are tremendous, and I've taken advantage of them myself to some extent. But you've missed the point entirely. I'm not saying we should disallow free distribution. That's rather silly. My argument is that *it's the creator's choice to sell his product or distribute it freely.*

Again, this choice never existed but rather manufactured artificially by a few groups of interest.
 Just because you like free stuff doesn't mean I have to give my stuff
 away for free. Conversely, just because I like to sell my stuff doesn't
 mean you have to buy it. If we leave things at that, we're all happy
 campers. I'll sell my stuff to people who want to buy it and you can
 get your stuff from people who want to give it away for free. But when
 you start taking my stuff without paying for it, knowing that I'm
 selling it and don't want it given away freely, now you're stepping on
 my toes and infringing my rights.

You do not have to publish your work. you can keep it for yourself. either you give to society or you don't. that's your choice.
 
 I can see you are passionate about this, but it reminds me very much of
 the debate over the GPL. This isn't a direct analogy, but the
 circumstances are similar. GPL supporters love to go on about how
 software should be free (as in 'libre'). Ultimately, they wind up
 reducing freedom by dictating that the source of any derived work be
 released under the same terms. True freedom would give developers more
 choice, like the BSD or MIT licenses do. In your arguments, you keep
 going on about how grand it would be for us to have free (as in
 'gratis', which is a different beast than 'libre' for sure) access to
 all of this stuff, but you would implicitly restrict the freedom (as in
 'libre') of the people who produce it by dictating how they should
 distribute it.

I do not object to OSS that is sold for money (again with the Red hat example). there is no conflict here with this at all. another way to look at it is this: an MP3 file is just information and should be available online, at the same time there is nothing that prevents the musician to charge money for his performance. a singer "produces" music by singing (for example). he does not "produce" MP3 files. Why don't you pay for each song you here on the radio for example? when you go to a restaurant do you pay for the taste, the smell or the food itself?
 Speaking of the GPL, how do you feel about taking GPLed code and using
 it in closed-source, proprietary software that is then distributed to
 your customers freely or commercially (that is, ignoring the terms of
 the GPL altogether)? Is that just as acceptable to you as pirating the
 end product?

I feel that the GPL is a necessary evil. It's a hack on top of a broken system. Ideally, there should be no need for it at all. Currently the GPL is the exception to the rule. the default is Closed-source. I'd want it to be the default while closed source would be the exception. to answer your question: yes it's wrong to subvert the GPL. The parallel you're trying to draw here however is not acceptable to me. these are two separate issues.

At this point I merely wish for you to define what information is to you. Information can refer to a number of things, but only one of them will you get me close to agreeing should be free of charge once released to the public and that is, "Knowledge about a topic." and any combination of bits does not fall into this.
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling parent Jesse Phillips <jessekphillips gmail.com> writes:
On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 15:44:57 -0400, Christopher Wright wrote:

 Jesse Phillips wrote:
 On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 09:47:46 -0400, Christopher Wright wrote:
 
 Jesse Phillips wrote:
 On Sun, 17 Aug 2008 03:59:08 +0300, Yigal Chripun wrote:
 There are no inherit rights that allow the author to control
 distribution. The way it actually works is this: a) you came up with
 new exciting idea/poem/article/software/etc.. b) either you keep it
 to yourself or you publish it. c) once it was published it is in the
 public domain. you cannot tell me: I have an idea such as <some
 idea> BUT since I just told you my idea it is mine alone and you
 cannot use it. If you do not want me to use your idea just keep it
 for yourself and don't tell anyone about it. This is what Coca-Cola
 does with its secret recipe. (it's secret!)

corn, and low and behold he has control over distribution of it.

my right, given by nature, if I can pull it off.

Ok, so you claim that stealing is your right if you can get away with it. This indicates we should start there with are argument.

That is my natural right, since it is my ability. I do not claim that it is right or good or just; society defines those, and society is not the source of natural rights. But it's pointless to talk about natural rights. You can talk about societal rights or, if you're so inclined, God-given rights.
 The notion of property requires some enforcing mechanism, whether it
 be brute force or legal convention (and the law is backed up by brute
 force). But physical property doesn't require any great amount of
 communication; I live in a place, and I actively prevent other people
 from living there.

Ok, so as long as you have some sort of force to use, you can claim anything to be yours.

Well, yes. If fifty armed men showed up at your door and said that all your pillow cases were now theirs, you wouldn't be inclined to argue.
 Intellectual property is a much more recent invention. For example,
 William Shakespeare didn't publish any of his plays. One of the few
 early English playwrights to publish their own works, Ben Johnson, was
 ridiculed for having done so -- it was polite and properly modest to
 allow others to publish your works, with no compensation to you.

invention, and yet us Americans don't criticize it for that. Actually some may claim it is too old.

Being a recent invention, intellectual property protection is clearly not a basic right of humans. Not all societies will require it.
 I'm not trying to defend how the legal system is set up to handle the
 issue. Many will agree the legal system is crap.

Because intellectual property is a recent invention, its implementations may not be optimal. Unfortunately, a well-defined legal system predates intellectual property, so it's harder to try out different mechanisms for IP protection.

I will move this to the "does IP exist" thread.
Aug 17 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Lars Ivar Igesund <larsivar igesund.net> writes:
bobef wrote:

 Anyway. In my opinion it comes down to greed cause no one is stealing
 anything. Just some people are not willing to share although they are not
 losing anything. And to lose something you must own it. So you can't lose
 a million dollars of sales because you haven't sold anything in the first
 place. If authors were more conscious (less greedy) they would share
 because if the users were more conscious (less living in a society where
 everyone wants to *make you* pay for something) they would show gratitude
 by paying.

So in effect you are saying that software developers expecting to live of it are silly, because the rest in general are dishonest? -- Lars Ivar Igesund blog at http://larsivi.net DSource, #d.tango & #D: larsivi Dancing the Tango
Aug 15 2008
parent bobef <bobef nosmap-abv.bg> writes:
Lars Ivar Igesund Wrote:

 bobef wrote:
 
 Anyway. In my opinion it comes down to greed cause no one is stealing
 anything. Just some people are not willing to share although they are not
 losing anything. And to lose something you must own it. So you can't lose
 a million dollars of sales because you haven't sold anything in the first
 place. If authors were more conscious (less greedy) they would share
 because if the users were more conscious (less living in a society where
 everyone wants to *make you* pay for something) they would show gratitude
 by paying.

So in effect you are saying that software developers expecting to live of it are silly, because the rest in general are dishonest?

Haha. I didn't say they are silly. But it is a fact that people in general are dishonest so it becomes harder (as many other things) :) I am saying that developers need to adapt. If they treat software as chairs they may fail to live of their work. I am developer and I live (mostly) of it so it still possible. Dishonest or not this is not stealing. It sucks if you make a lot of effort for something and nobody buys it, I know. But fist of all examine the quality of what you are selling. People are not buying effort but results. Then if you think (I don't mean personally you) you are selling a good product and people are still pirating it, then the dishonesty could be the case. And then the one who did the effort becomes emotional and all of that, but at the end everyone should be happy, because at least one of the parties got something (without depriving the other party of anything). It is better for someone to make use of the work, although he didn't buy it, than neither using it nor buying it. And the important point that is somehow related to the topic: this licensing stuff IMO is waste of time. Nobody can blame Phobos/Tango for stealing because nothing is stolen. But I think Walter has point about corporate lawyers and all of that, because these people care only about the money, not about the logic about stealing or not stealing. Lol. Regards, bobef
Aug 15 2008
prev sibling parent reply "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 12:23:44AM +0100, Jb wrote:
 I wish you'd put that paragraph first and then I wouldnt have spent 30 
 minutes responding to all your utopian copyright free wet dreams.
 
 ;-)

Heh, yes, I do tend to ramble. (One reason why I generally lurk rather than post...)
 
 I do think you overstate what copyright actualy does. It doesnt prevent 
 sharing of ideas and information. It just prevent copying of (usualy) 
 artistic works.

The bits that make up that artistic work is information! If I take a screenshot of a computer program, that is considered copyright infringement (in the US anyway, as I understand it. Disclaimer: I'm no lawyer, so I might be wrong, but I don't think so.) I'm not copying the work - I'm providing a detailed description of a portion of it (its user interface). If I write a piece of fan fiction starring Captain Kirk and the starship Enterprise, I'm technically infringing on Paramount Picture's copyright, since my book would be considered a derivative work of Star Trek. That is the worst case - I would have copied no actual words, just the abstract information of Kirk's characterisation. Yet, technically, the law says I can't do that without Paramount's permission. I'm sure that, at the very least, we can agree that several aspects of copyright law are absurd, even if you accepted the rest of it. But that is definitely information about the work that I cannot copy under the law. One could easily argue that transmitting something like source code down the Internet is sending a very detailed description of the product (product == the compiled executable) rather than copying the work. I didn't copy the executable itself - I sent a detailed description of it. This description just happens to be detailed enough for the compiler to create a perfect copy from it. The only difference between that description and a verbal description of the program is the resolution of detail. In both cases, I am spreading information about it.
 Actualy without copyright the chances of finding that library would be 
 greatly diminished. For a start if people want to they can already create 
 software and release with no restrictions. This option already exists.

Yes, indeed, and many people do (or something very close to no restrictions, like the licenses in Phobos). And there's an interesting question: why do people write software with few restrictions now, when they could possibly make more money off keeping it restricted? If copyright didn't exist, would those reasons suddenly disappear? I say no:
 All that would happen if you killed copyright is the people who write and 
 release software in order to make a living would likely go out of business 
 and end up doing somthing else.

Maybe. Maybe not. Lots of existing free software is written for the author's own personal use (hence their generally poor user interfaces...). This stuff wouldn't go away. The demand is still present. Demand is what drives commercial software too. Demand for something like tax software wouldn't disappear without copyright, so tax software shouldn't disappear either. The payment model would probably switch to pay in advance. Someone (more likely a group than individuals) would hire developers to write the software so they can use it for themselves. Everyone else would then use it as a kind of collateral damage. Damage isn't a good word to use here, since no one is getting hurt, but I can't think of a better term. A similar example to the concept I have in mind is in politics. The United States Navy patrols the oceans of the world to protect American trade and national interests. In doing so, other countries get to benefit from this too - fighting piracy (the kind on the seas) benefits other countries, since those pirate ships would attack anyone from any country and do their damage, not just Americans. The other countries get this benefit without them having to pay for it. Of course, again, the US doesn't do this for benefit of other nations - it does it for itself. But, regardless, the job is still done and everyone can still benefit from it. Software would become similar. Everyone looks out for his own interests, and other people can come along for the free ride without hurting anyone.
 So the idea that art / software production would flourish without copyright 
 is plain false, it's so false it's almost absurd.

How then do you explain the wealth of art that was created before copyright was around? Or the vast amounts of free (or close to free) software on the Web now? -- Adam D. Ruppe http://arsdnet.net
Aug 17 2008
next sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
"Adam D. Ruppe" wrote
 If I take a screenshot of a computer program, that is considered copyright
 infringement (in the US anyway, as I understand it. Disclaimer: I'm no 
 lawyer,
 so I might be wrong, but I don't think so.)

 I'm not copying the work - I'm providing a detailed description
 of a portion of it (its user interface).

Nope. The original author of the software cannot possibly copyright all possible screenshots. Copyrights only apply to a specific piece of media, and since you were the creator of that media, you can copyright it. However, it may contain trademarked elements, such as a logo. However, it is possible to have trademarked material as long as you are critiquing something, and you represent who the owner of the trademark is properly. Even if there was some possible way to copyright the UI, this should fall under fair use as you are presenting a 'clip' of a copyrighted piece of media for critique.
 If I write a piece of fan fiction starring Captain Kirk and the starship
 Enterprise, I'm technically infringing on Paramount Picture's copyright,
 since my book would be considered a derivative work of Star Trek.

Nope, but you are infringing on the trademark names of 'Captain Kirk' and the starship 'Enterprise'. I think there is probably some restriction on making money from the trademark. If you wrote a book with 'Captian Jerk' and the starship 'Doorprize', then you would have no problem :)
 That is the worst case - I would have copied no actual words, just the
 abstract information of Kirk's characterisation. Yet, technically, the
 law says I can't do that without Paramount's permission.

Because you would be using Paramount's trademarks in order to make money. There is a huge amount of weight behind those simple words, and most likely, you would enjoy Paramount's ability to sell anything that is star trek related, without having created the original idea. That is why trademark law exists.
 One could easily argue that transmitting something like source code
 down the Internet is sending a very detailed description of the product
 (product == the compiled executable) rather than copying the work.

The source code is also copyrighted. Copyright is inherently assigned to the author (even if he doesn't label it as such). He can assign the copyright to someone else if he wants.
 I didn't copy the executable itself - I sent a detailed description of it.
 This description just happens to be detailed enough for the compiler to 
 create
 a perfect copy from it.

If you sent a detailed description of the source code (i.e. an english description of how it works), this is not a violation of copyright, as you cannot copyright ideas. Many companies use 'clean room' techniques where one team disassembles code, figures out how it works, then describes that to another team which writes a compatible piece of software. They are not infringing on copyright because the developers have not seen any of the original code. In some countries, however, you can patent software 'business methods', i.e. ideas (which to me is absurd for software).
 The only difference between that description and a verbal description
 of the program is the resolution of detail. In both cases, I am spreading
 information about it.

No, the difference is that the code is copyrighted. If you build the code from reverse engineering, it is a derivative work. The verbal description is a description of the ideas, which are not copyrightable. -Steve
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.9.1219031970.19733.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 12:23:44AM +0100, Jb wrote:

 I do think you overstate what copyright actualy does. It doesnt prevent
 sharing of ideas and information. It just prevent copying of (usualy)
 artistic works.

The bits that make up that artistic work is information! If I take a screenshot of a computer program, that is considered copyright infringement (in the US anyway, as I understand it. Disclaimer: I'm no lawyer, so I might be wrong, but I don't think so.)

If i remember correctly this came up when someone got a pre release screen shot of one of the new versiosn of MacOS, they published this online. And Apple decided to sue them for breach of copyright as they wanted to keep it secret untill the big unveiling. Breach of copyright was the only avenue open to them iirc, and i dont know how it turned out but the point is moot. That is an absurd abuse of copyright. It is not the norm. So yes current copyright laws do sometimes produce undesirable results. And they are not perfect. And I agree that fair use should be expanded, and copyright lengths reduced.
 Actualy without copyright the chances of finding that library would be
 greatly diminished. For a start if people want to they can already create
 software and release with no restrictions. This option already exists.

Yes, indeed, and many people do (or something very close to no restrictions, like the licenses in Phobos). And there's an interesting question: why do people write software with few restrictions now, when they could possibly make more money off keeping it restricted? If copyright didn't exist, would those reasons suddenly disappear? I say no:

This is my point. Those people who want to can already work with free and open licences. Disolving copyright wont change that.
 So the idea that art / software production would flourish without 
 copyright
 is plain false, it's so false it's almost absurd.

How then do you explain the wealth of art that was created before copyright was around? Or the vast amounts of free (or close to free) software on the Web now?

It's not that art or software would not be produced if we disolved copyright. It's that far far less of it would. The amount of art produced prior to the 20th centuary is miniscule compared to what was produced during it. There have been millions of songs, books, and films that have made in the last 100 years. If you compared that to what was made in just one of the centurarys of the Renaisence it would be like comparing mountain to a mole hill. The simple fact is that the "patronage" system that was in use before hand is incredibly inneficient. It just doesnt work that well. And your supposed ideas of how it could work just emphasise the point. The problem is that getting a 100 people together, and getting them to agree on what they want, and how much they will pay, and then finding someone who will do the work, is just absurd. You are insane if you think that system will be more efficient and more productive than the current copyright / capatilist one. Free market, and free trade, will always batter such a system into the ground. It's why you see very little art comming out of Comunist countrys in comparison to capatilist ones. It's why capalism works. It's pragmatic rather than idealistic.
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 10:01:41AM -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
  snip trademark explanation

Conceded.
 No, the difference is that the code is copyrighted.  If you build the code 
 from reverse engineering, it is a derivative work.  The verbal description 
 is a description of the ideas, which are not copyrightable.

Would it be fair to say information about the ideas is fine to spread, but information about the specific implementation isn't?
 
 -Steve 
 

-- Adam D. Ruppe http://arsdnet.net
Aug 18 2008
parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
"Adam D. Ruppe" wrote
 On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 10:01:41AM -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
  snip trademark explanation

Conceded.
 No, the difference is that the code is copyrighted.  If you build the 
 code
 from reverse engineering, it is a derivative work.  The verbal 
 description
 is a description of the ideas, which are not copyrightable.

Would it be fair to say information about the ideas is fine to spread, but information about the specific implementation isn't?

Hm... depending on the information about the specific implementation, that might be debatable. For example, if you wanted to have a competing library that used the exact same API (i.e. a swappable replacement), I'm not sure that would be considered infringement, as there is no way to create a binary compatible API without copying exactly (e.g. Lesstif). Most likely, this API is described in a document, so you could potentially write a new header file that had the same function names, but that wasn't a copy of the original header file. But surely, if you describe the exact implementation, it is infringement. Description of the concepts behind the implementation should be fine. Please note, I am not a lawyer, so don't take this as legal advice ;) -Steve
Aug 18 2008
parent Lars Ivar Igesund <larsivar igesund.net> writes:
Steven Schveighoffer wrote:

 "Adam D. Ruppe" wrote
 On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 10:01:41AM -0400, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
  snip trademark explanation

Conceded.
 No, the difference is that the code is copyrighted.  If you build the
 code
 from reverse engineering, it is a derivative work.  The verbal
 description
 is a description of the ideas, which are not copyrightable.

Would it be fair to say information about the ideas is fine to spread, but information about the specific implementation isn't?

Hm... depending on the information about the specific implementation, that might be debatable. For example, if you wanted to have a competing library that used the exact same API (i.e. a swappable replacement), I'm not sure that would be considered infringement, as there is no way to create a binary compatible API without copying exactly (e.g. Lesstif). Most likely, this API is described in a document, so you could potentially write a new header file that had the same function names, but that wasn't a copy of the original header file. But surely, if you describe the exact implementation, it is infringement. Description of the concepts behind the implementation should be fine. Please note, I am not a lawyer, so don't take this as legal advice ;)

I have seen commercial libraries implement exact same API as other commercial libraries, and only been considered as healthy competition - it is the same with Wine and their re-implementation of Windows API's - it isn't possible to copyright or otherwise restrict the "use" of API's for such a purpose - you cannot just copy the headers the API is described in though - ref the MinGW windows header project. -- Lars Ivar Igesund blog at http://larsivi.net DSource, #d.tango & #D: larsivi Dancing the Tango
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling parent reply "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 04:12:18PM +0100, Jb wrote:
 So yes current copyright laws do sometimes produce undesirable results. And 
 they are not perfect. And I agree that fair use should be expanded, and 
 copyright lengths reduced.

Agreed.
 The amount of art produced prior to the 20th centuary is miniscule compared 
 to what was produced during it. There have been millions of songs, books, 
 and films that have made in the last 100 years.

This isn't because of copyright. Copyright has been around since about 1700; it didn't suddenly come to existence in 1900, so you can't say it is the cause of the explosion of new stuff around that time. What did change around 1900 is an explosion of industry, an explosion of human population, and just a general explosion of wealth. World population today is 4x bigger than it was in 1900, so all other things being equal, it makes sense to see 4x more stuff created. World population in 1800 was about 2/3 that of 1900. [My source for the above numbers is Wikipedia: <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population>] It makes sense that the 20th century saw more stuff created than previous centuries based on population growth alone. Similar situations exist in general wealth factors - the average person today is much richer than the average person 100 years ago, giving him more time to devote to stuff like art. Higher technology is also a significant factor. Thirty years ago, it is unlikely someone like me would have been able to become a computer programmer at all - I simply couldn't afford it. But now, computers are so cheap, and the necessary programs so easy to get, that random high school students can pick it up and start making stuff. (Thanks to Digital Mars here; I first learned C++ on the free download of dmc.) And thanks to the Internet, those random students and look at a wealth of existing stuff to learn from and release their own stuff with trivial ease. Similar things exist in other fields. Anyone can now publish his own writings, amateurs can create and publish images and animation. Copyright might take some credit for this. I'm sure it does, as without it, something like Digital Mars might not exist at all. But it can't anything near to all the credit, and now since this situation already exists, removing copyright isn't going to suddenly erase what is already done.
 And your supposed ideas of how it could work just emphasise the point. The 
 problem is that getting a 100 people together, and getting them to agree on 
 what they want, and how much they will pay, and then finding someone who 
 will do the work, is just absurd.

Nonsense. Create a website with a donation system. Someone looking for the software you are about to have written can find this website and decide if he wants to help pay the developer to write it or if he simply doesn't want it to get done. The donation system wouldn't be just a donation system, it would be entering into a contract to get what you paid for - if the developer doesn't deliver, you get your money back. Furthermore, since you are paying into the contract, you get a say in what you want. Perhaps shareholders can vote on acceptance tests or on must have features to write into the contract. Exactly like they would when buying packaged software, except here they pay first then get the software made rather than the other way around.
 You are insane if you think that system 
 will be more efficient and more productive than the current copyright / 
 capatilist one.

This /is/ a capitalist system. People invest in a product to suit their own needs - that's the very definition of capitalism. Even the obvious downside of the above plan: someone chooses not to invest hoping that someone else will and he still benefits, is purely capitalist. He is looking out for his own interests, trying to get the most product for the least amount of money. The counterbalance to this is that if he doesn't invest in it, he might not get what he wants, or it might not be created at all. So he has to make a decision. If I was a software developer in such a world, I'd keep the current list of shareholders and amount of money I've been paid a secret. Then someone looking at the website doesn't know if he has to invest or not to get the product, so hopefully, he will, meaning I get a bit more profit. The customer is safe in donating to me, even if I don't get enough capital to make the product, since if I don't deliver, he can sue me for his money back. That is pure, unrestrained and safe competition in a wholly capitalist system. -- Adam D. Ruppe http://arsdnet.net
Aug 18 2008
next sibling parent reply "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.13.1219076519.19733.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 And your supposed ideas of how it could work just emphasise the point. 
 The
 problem is that getting a 100 people together, and getting them to agree 
 on
 what they want, and how much they will pay, and then finding someone who
 will do the work, is just absurd.

Nonsense. Create a website with a donation system. Someone looking for the software you are about to have written can find this website and decide if he wants to help pay the developer to write it or if he simply doesn't want it to get done. The donation system wouldn't be just a donation system, it would be entering into a contract to get what you paid for - if the developer doesn't deliver, you get your money back.

I know people who have done things like this. They get 1000s of downloads and accaisionaly someone donates 5 bucks. It doesnt work. The vast majority of people will not pay if they dont have to. One guy i know who actualy releases his plugins as donationware got so little money he had to shut his website down because he couldnt afford the hosting costs. Yes he got a 10 page thread full of people saying "oh no thats so sad, your plugins are great, hope you get back online soon". But in spite of all those people, of all the thousands of downloads, people didnt donate enough for him to pay for the bandwidth to run his website. Really, it does not work. It may work for massive projects, with tens or hundreds of thousands of users, but for small to medium size enterprize it will never work. At least not for anything but a handful of developers.
 Furthermore, since you are paying into the contract, you get a say in
 what you want. Perhaps shareholders can vote on acceptance tests or
 on must have features to write into the contract.

It's hard enough getting half a dozen people to decide on what features to include in a prjoect they are all working on without having a couple of hundred "investors" arguing over it as well. The problem is firstly "too many cooks" and secondly "too much administration". It's absurd. And actualy, if I had to bend to the whim of my customers on every single thing my product would actualy be worse for it. It would be the worst case of design by commitee ever. So not only would your scheme stiffle creativity in general. It would also stiffle individual creativity.
 Exactly like they would when buying packaged software, except here they
 pay first then get the software made rather than the other way around.

 You are insane if you think that system
 will be more efficient and more productive than the current copyright /
 capatilist one.

This /is/ a capitalist system. People invest in a product to suit their own needs - that's the very definition of capitalism.

If I dont own the product I am producing then no it's not a capatilist system. The fundamental mechanism in capatilism is private ownership, whether of physical or intellectual property.
 Even the obvious downside of the above plan: someone chooses not to invest
 hoping that someone else will and he still benefits, is purely capitalist.
 He is looking out for his own interests, trying to get the most product
 for the least amount of money.

Another obvious downside is that people dont like having to wait. They want the product now. So not only is it crippled by the problems of "design by commitiee", and the problems of "excesive administration", it's also crippled by the fact that consumers dont want to have to wait 12 months to get what they paid for.
 The counterbalance to this is that if he
 doesn't invest in it, he might not get what he wants, or it might not be
 created at all. So he has to make a decision.

So you expect customers are going to wander around the interent, investing money in lots of different projects that might or might not give them what they want in 6 months time? And then when half these schemes fail they are going to go chasing the developers up to get their money back? CUCKOO!
 If I was a software developer in such a world, I'd keep the current list
 of shareholders and amount of money I've been paid a secret. Then
 someone looking at the website doesn't know if he has to invest or not
 to get the product, so hopefully, he will, meaning I get a bit more
 profit.

 The customer is safe in donating to me, even if I don't get enough
 capital to make the product, since if I don't deliver, he can sue me for
 his money back.

 That is pure, unrestrained and safe competition in a wholly capitalist 
 system.

Look there's been nothing stopping businesses operating like that for decades, maybe even centuaries. If it did work, if it was so much better than the current system, we'd be talking about the multitude of businesses that do actualy work that way. And yet we're not.
Aug 18 2008
next sibling parent Benji Smith <dlanguage benjismith.net> writes:
Adam D. Ruppe wrote:
 Downloading it isn't an option at all until the money is already paid,
 because before then, the software doesn't exist yet.
 
 The vast majority of people will not pay if they dont have to.

Right, so the trick is to make it so they think they have to. Tax season is coming up, and you really wish you had a program up to date with this year's tax code to help you out. Uh oh, no program exists, but there is a development company saying they'll make one if they get a total of $100,000 in investments. Someone else might pay for it, but everyone would think that, so the rational person has to assume that no one is going to pay for it, thus, the software will never be written and he won't be able to use it.

Adam, you have some mind-bogglingly weird ideas about software development, creativity, sociology, economics, etc, etc. Last year, I downloaded TurboTax on April 14th. For about $25. Without joining a co-op or voting or features or pledging to pay for the future delivery of undeveloped software or anything like that. It was easier than buying a candy bar, and took less time. --benji
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling parent Jussi Jumppanen <jussij zeusedit.com> writes:
Adam D. Ruppe Wrote:

 but there is a development company saying they'll make 
 one if they get a total of $100,000 in investments.

The $100,000 is the about enough to pay the wage of one developer for about one year. Once you add in a few Tax specialist to do the design, a few more developers, some QA people and someone to write the documentation, the wages bill would be much closer to the $1,000,000 mark.
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 06:28:57PM +0100, Jb wrote:
 I know people who have done things like this. They get 1000s of downloads 
 and accaisionaly someone donates 5 bucks.

That's not the same. What I'm proposing is that the software plain isn't written if you don't get enough money up front. Downloading it isn't an option at all until the money is already paid, because before then, the software doesn't exist yet.
 The vast majority of people will not pay if they dont have to.

Right, so the trick is to make it so they think they have to. Tax season is coming up, and you really wish you had a program up to date with this year's tax code to help you out. Uh oh, no program exists, but there is a development company saying they'll make one if they get a total of $100,000 in investments. Someone else might pay for it, but everyone would think that, so the rational person has to assume that no one is going to pay for it, thus, the software will never be written and he won't be able to use it. Since he wants to use it, he must buy into the company. Of course, he can't afford $100k up front, and even if he could, it isn't worth that much to him, so he puts in a fraction of the total and hopes other people think the same way. If they do, good, they all get the product. If they don't, he can demand his money back, since the development company didn't deliver the product.
 It may work for massive projects, with tens or hundreds of thousands of 
 users, but for small to medium size enterprize it will never work. At least 
 not for anything but a handful of developers.

Valid: I could see it being very hard for someone with a poor reputation to get started, but that's again where the satisfaction guaranteed or your money back clause comes in. Potential investors have very little risk giving a new guy a chance, since they have little to lose if he fails.
 It's hard enough getting half a dozen people to decide on what features to 
 include in a prjoect they are all working on without having a couple of 
 hundred "investors" arguing over it as well.

Put a price on each feature. If you want feature A, you have to pay an additional $1000 total. Feature B is an additional $500. An investor says "well, feature A is worth $20 to me, so I'll buy it." If 50 other investors feel the same way, then feature A gets implemented - they paid for it, so they should get it. If not, then it doesn't happen. Adding a direct price up front for features is an easy way to keep them limited. You set the prices so features that you really don't think are a good idea cost more, to discourage people from buying them. Then if they do buy it, you still win, since you get more money.
 And actualy, if I had to bend to the whim of my customers on every single 
 thing my product would actualy be worse for it. It would be the worst case 
 of design by commitee ever.

Well, it is still your product, so you can always do it a different way. This is just a suggestion, just like copyright restrictions are a suggestion on how to make money.
 If I dont own the product I am producing then no it's not a capatilist 
 system. The fundamental mechanism in capatilism is private ownership, 
 whether of physical or intellectual property.

So construction contractors aren't capitalists? They don't own the building they were hired to build either. They do own their time and skill though, just like a software developer working as a contractor.
 Another obvious downside is that people dont like having to wait. They want 
 the product now.

Good point, and businesses could specialize in this. Someone could put up an offer saying that the software is already written, and if we receive X dollars, we'll release it. If not, we'll delete the whole thing. It is like selling the software, but doing so in such a way that piracy is impossible. By the time the program is out in the open so it can be pirated, the company already has their money and doesn't care anymore.
 So you expect customers are going to wander around the interent, investing 
 money in lots of different projects that might or might not give them what 
 they want in 6 months time?

So you expect customers are going to wander around the Internet, investing money in lots of different projects that might nor might not give them what they want when the download is complete? That's what copyrighted software as the product does and people are willing to do it.
 And then when half these schemes fail they are going to go chasing the 
 developers up to get their money back?
 
 CUCKOO!

It's their money, if they want to throw it away, fine. But if you invested money in something and you didn't get that something, you'd probably want your money back too, and since you have a contract (again, this isn't just a donation button I'm talking about), you can prove that you deserve it back to a court of law.
 Look there's been nothing stopping businesses operating like that for 
 decades, maybe even centuaries.

Yes, and things have been done that way for centuries. This isn't an original idea. How are buildings designed, constructed and maintained? One option there is a building as a product - you build it and wait for someone to come and buy it. I think that is how Donald Trump made his money. The other option is you wait for someone to hire you to build it to their specifications. This is how most construction companies and architecture firms make their money. -- Adam D. Ruppe http://arsdnet.net
Aug 18 2008
next sibling parent "Jb" <jb nowhere.com> writes:
"Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> wrote in message 
news:mailman.15.1219085627.19733.digitalmars-d puremagic.com...
 On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 06:28:57PM +0100, Jb wrote:
 I know people who have done things like this. They get 1000s of downloads
 and accaisionaly someone donates 5 bucks.

That's not the same. What I'm proposing is that the software plain isn't written if you don't get enough money up front.

I know I was just emphasising how reluctant people are to part with their money when they dont have to. And likewise how reluctant they still are even when they see a developer whose products they apparently use & love shutting up shop.
 The vast majority of people will not pay if they dont have to.

Right, so the trick is to make it so they think they have to. Tax season is coming up, and you really wish you had a program up to date with this year's tax code to help you out. Uh oh, no program exists, but there is a development company saying they'll make one if they get a total of $100,000 in investments.

Im sorry that just wont work. If you cant get people to donate for somthing they can download and use today, you wont get them to donate for somthing that they might or might not get in 6 months time. They will use the exact same rationale that they use already for pirating movies. Whether they pay or not will be a drop in the ocean. It'll make little difference if they buy into the scheme or not. So they may as well let other people do it.
 Someone else might pay for it, but everyone would think that, so the
 rational person has to assume that no one is going to pay for it, thus,
 the software will never be written and he won't be able to use it.

No the rational person would think "Look it's gonna take 10,000 people to get this up and running, whether I invest or not doesnt matter, and the developers are probably raking it in anyway" And on top of that I have no guarantee of what I will get. They could just code up some piece of crap and then I've wasted my money. And no, some kind of "quality validation" mechanism wouldnt work, it'd add so much pointless overhead and chaff to an already cumbersome and inneficient business model.
 Since he wants to use it, he must buy into the company. Of course, he 
 can't
 afford $100k up front, and even if he could, it isn't worth that much to 
 him,
 so he puts in a fraction of the total and hopes other people think the 
 same
 way.

Or he thinks "screw that" and looks elsewhere. <g>
 It may work for massive projects, with tens or hundreds of thousands of
 users, but for small to medium size enterprize it will never work. At 
 least
 not for anything but a handful of developers.

Valid: I could see it being very hard for someone with a poor reputation to get started, but that's again where the satisfaction guaranteed or your money back clause comes in. Potential investors have very little risk giving a new guy a chance, since they have little to lose if he fails.

What I'm saying is that your kind of scheme would require a very high number of investors. People will be far less willing to invest 100$ in somthing they might get 6 months from now than they will be to spend $100 on somthing they can download now, where they can try the demo and see if they like it. So for smaller enterpises where the number of customers and margins are already small. Your scheme simply would not work. I would be out of business in 6 months with you as my business adviser. Sorry. And yes it would make entry into the market much hard for new upstarts.
 It's hard enough getting half a dozen people to decide on what features 
 to
 include in a prjoect they are all working on without having a couple of
 hundred "investors" arguing over it as well.

Put a price on each feature. If you want feature A, you have to pay an additional $1000 total. Feature B is an additional $500. An investor says "well, feature A is worth $20 to me, so I'll buy it." If 50 other investors feel the same way, then feature A gets implemented - they paid for it, so they should get it. If not, then it doesn't happen. Adding a direct price up front for features is an easy way to keep them limited. You set the prices so features that you really don't think are a good idea cost more, to discourage people from buying them. Then if they do buy it, you still win, since you get more money.

Oh FFS.. why dont I just run a raffle or a tombola? I'd spend more time auctioning features, talking customers, running voting systems, managing who'd paid what, and who wants how much back because this or that didnt apear. I'd never have any time for programming.
 If I dont own the product I am producing then no it's not a capatilist
 system. The fundamental mechanism in capatilism is private ownership,
 whether of physical or intellectual property.

So construction contractors aren't capitalists? They don't own the building they were hired to build either. They do own their time and skill though, just like a software developer working as a contractor.

They *COULD* own it if they want. And a lot of small building contractors do do it this way. What you are doing is removing that possibility from them. You are forcing them to only do business as a service.
 Another obvious downside is that people dont like having to wait. They 
 want
 the product now.

Good point, and businesses could specialize in this. Someone could put up an offer saying that the software is already written, and if we receive X dollars, we'll release it. If not, we'll delete the whole thing.

And the customer will think "Heck they've already written it, they are going to release sooner or later because otherwise they loose every pennty of their investment"
 It is like selling the software, but doing so in such a way that piracy
 is impossible. By the time the program is out in the open so it can be 
 pirated,
 the company already has their money and doesn't care anymore.

It wont work... i think the donationware / honesty box model would probably work better than that would.
 So you expect customers are going to wander around the interent, 
 investing
 money in lots of different projects that might or might not give them 
 what
 they want in 6 months time?

So you expect customers are going to wander around the Internet, investing money in lots of different projects that might nor might not give them what they want when the download is complete?

They can download a demo and try it first. Or they have 14 day money back guarentee. Of they can sell the product to someone else.
 That's what copyrighted software as the product does and people are 
 willing
 to do it.

Except they can usualy try a demo. And they dont have to wait for months to get it. And once purchased the product still has intrinsic value. They can sell it on to someone else. Whereas with your model the software is worthless to the customer, it has no resale value because now anyone can download and use it for free.
 And then when half these schemes fail they are going to go chasing the
 developers up to get their money back?

 CUCKOO!

It's their money, if they want to throw it away, fine. But if you invested money in something and you didn't get that something, you'd probably want your money back too, and since you have a contract (again, this isn't just a donation button I'm talking about), you can prove that you deserve it back to a court of law.

Yes and how often do consumers take companies to court over a 50$ payment? And say I'm a budding record producer, and I've bought into 15 of these schemes in the last year. 7 still havnt turned up the goods. Am i going to go round chassing up all these microdonations? Dont we have enough shit to do in our lifes with out complicating the purchase of software to such an extent that I have to keep track of all my investments, and the promises and requestes I made for each one?
 Look there's been nothing stopping businesses operating like that for
 decades, maybe even centuaries.

Yes, and things have been done that way for centuries. This isn't an original idea.

Lots of them? Are there lots of businesses working this way? Nope.
 How are buildings designed, constructed and maintained? One option there
 is a building as a product - you build it and wait for someone to come and
 buy it. I think that is how Donald Trump made his money.

Yes and this is still how it's done in the vast majority of cases.
 The other option is you wait for someone to hire you to build it to their
 specifications. This is how most construction companies and architecture
 firms make their money.

A bad analogy. Do we see hundreds of people clubbing togther in order to finance the building of residential tower blocks, or residential estates? No we dont. We do see big companies comissioning buildings, or developments. But that is actualy little different from big companies commisioning custom made software. Sure it happens, but in the vast majoirty of cases people / businesses dont need custom made software. So that model doesnt work because it's many orders of magnitude cheaper for it to be produced via the generic product based model.
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling parent "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
This is taking way more time than I bargained for, so this will probably
be my last word on the subject. I have real work I need to be doing.

My plan isn't at all as radical as it might look. In practice, I would
expect something like this:

  Liked 1.0? Pre-order 2.0 now, and remember, if we don't get enough
  pre-orders, 2.0 will never be released, and this is no bluff.

I say we come back to this debate in ten years and see what has happened.
I'm willing to guess that regardless of our personal opinions on copyright
in principle, the fact is that it will lose its effectiveness as piracy
continues to grow and it doesn't look like piracy will stop growing.

My plan might be a way around this, and it might not be. Heck, most businesses
fail even in the best of times, and this would likely be no exception. Either 
way, software as a product like we see now is something I expect to be dead
or mostly dead by 2020 and something will take its place.

The reality is it looks like piracy is here to stay. We need to make the
best of that fact if we want to survive in the business of programming.

If I'm wrong, you'll have my full concession in the next decade  :)

-- 
Adam D. Ruppe
http://arsdnet.net
Aug 18 2008
prev sibling parent "Adam D. Ruppe" <destructionator gmail.com> writes:
On Mon, Aug 18, 2008 at 03:41:14PM -0400, Benji Smith wrote:
 Last year, I downloaded TurboTax on April 14th. For about $25. 

Which means you gave them $25 in a vote saying you want them to make a product with similar features for next year. My scheme really isn't that different. -- Adam D. Ruppe http://arsdnet.net
Aug 18 2008